Daily Proverbial, 10 August 2011

As the heavens are high and the earth is deep, so the hearts of kings are unsearchable. Proverbs 25, verse 3.

My resume shows that I have been a high-level manager in only a few things. I’ve managed projects, managed corporate divisions, managed teams, and managed tasks. I’m nobody’s king, and because I wear my opinions and feelings on my sleeve, I probably never will be. Personally, I’m okay with that because even though I’m trained and now certified as a professional, if my career doesn’t move in that direction again, I’ll still draw plenty of oxygen to be satisfied.

But that’s only me. Someone has to be in charge. How well do you really know your boss? Or even your pastor? How well do you really understand what makes your father tick? And does anyone understand the president? In order to lead large endeavors and in order to govern, one has to play their cards close. It would be hard for a Dave Terry to be CEO or President Terry without first learning to keep a few things mum. It’s not the same vein as what we talked about yesterday, that is, keeping some things in confidence.

Instead, this verse is talking about things spiritual in things physical. Physically, the king is the man at the top. The ruler is alone, empowered and responsible. The buck really does stop someplace and that’s with the person at the top. To do that job, that person has to be shrewd, wise, confident, assertive, decisive, just and faithfully brave. It’s a lonely job because there’s nobody else who is your confidante or your peer. You’re the captain of the ship, and if it sinks it really is your job to be the last one off or swimming. Such people, by necessity, must be aloof, unique, even alone.

Here’s a shocker: so it is with the follower of God. One commentary I read on this verse (from http://www.biblecentre.org/commentaries/lmg_24_prov_ch_25.htm) said, “The spiritual man is a strange enigma to the world. His wisdom and understanding is evident, but his attitude is a cause of wonder and bewilderment to those who have not the Spirit: “the heart of kings is unsearchable.” ” When you start to live your life under the tutoring and mastery of the Lord, you let yourself start to become a different person.

It’s not a matter of becoming someone you aren’t: it’s a matter of casting off who you were never meant to be. We get to take stock of our lives and become aliens to a familiar world. When anger beckons, we learn to give patience. As crises happen, we trust in His wisdom. During tough times we begin to turn to prayer. Instead of reacting, we begin to listen. When wrongs happen, we forgive. These kinds of things are foreign to people who embrace a way that espouses retribution, revenge, reaction and regret. Good people following bad ways don’t see how it is a good and empowering thing to choose a different way.

In learning to be a person of God, our hearts become unsearchable to the people we used to be, and even to some of those we know. It doesn’t make sense to turn the other cheek, and it doesn’t make sense to let some invisible, maybe imaginary force determine how we should live. Such a thing is illogical, astounding, even stupid. And be ye advised: it won’t be easy. It is always so tempting to slip back into old ways. It’s hard to live down the choice to follow God when it isn’t cool and when it’s tough. But here’s where I get to give you some good news: check out Ephesians 5, verses 22 through 24. It describes the fruit of the Spirit, namely new things to embrace when you let God make your heart unsearchable to the world.

Just remember: it won’t help you get ahead, at least not in the ways of the world. If you think being a believer is the way to professional advancement, I have news for you: even in Vatican City that’s not the way to become CEO. If being the head Fred is your goal, look to God for encouragement and sound advice on how to pursue your career, but Scripture isn’t the One Minute Manager, it isn’t Agile, and there’s no Sigma measure for it. It’s much better than that. The closer you get to the top, the more you’ll find that you’re walking out onto the stage alone. At least that’s how it will feel. For the woman or man of God, you are never alone. Even when others don’t understand your heart, true love always will because true love starts, finishes, and lives in Him. That’s better than any resume.

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