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Thy Kingdom Come

Blog / Produced by The High Calling
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In the eight years since I received my doctorate, my career path looks like this: adjunct professor; dean of fine arts/communications; full-time professor; program administrator; unemployed.

In the academic food chain, the same path would be: minnow . . . small shark . . . large blowfish . . . small blowfish . . . pond scum.

Spiritually, this eight-year period resembles (changing metaphors) a flower slowly withering then finally blossoming. In my case, I had to reach the nadir of the world’s ranking for my spiritual life to bloom.

The year I turned fifty-two, God grabbed me by the resume. “Look,” He seemed to say as I struggled with whether to resign my job as director of the local university’s Teaching and Learning Center, “Rank and position belong to the world. The point of your existence belongs to another kingdom entirely.”

“But I like being somebody,” I said.

His reply moved me: “You already are somebody. I created you. You are my precious child. I have saved you from being nobody.”

One of my greatest acts of courage was to quit a job and sit, for several months, listening to what God wanted me to do—not what the world lured me into.

Now as I looked around, in acts largely ignored in newspapers or misunderstood in the marketplace, I began to see real courage and dignity: a young woman undergoing miserable chemotherapy for the third time, determined to live to see her children grown . . . a wreck survivor, now a paraplegic, struggling for weeks to learn to get himself in and out of the shower . . . a teenager reaching out to the new girl in her cabin at summer camp . . . a toddler who shared his toy instead of grabbing it away.

Suddenly the kingdom of heaven was here—in believers helping others in faith and in love without fanfare.

In the world, people panic to pad resumes, strategize career climbs, enviously eye the next tier up. The kingdom of God is filled with birthday notes, casseroles for the sick, offers to pray in difficult times, smiles for rude clerks, personal time sacrificed for carpool.

I’m not fooling myself. The kingdom of the world is alluring. In the final analysis, though, it fails to sustain the soul. The kingdom of heaven is where I want to pitch my tent. Last week, I accepted a job outside my original career path, but, praise God, well within His path for me.
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