Friday, March 12, 2010

A Theology of Resignation

I just received word that my younger sister has decided to leave her current spot at the leading telecommunications company in the country. The reason given was that she was "not happy" anymore. This got me thinking: what does it mean when someone says that they are not happy on the job anymore? Is there some objective standard by which one can measure career happiness? The usual replies would be the pay, the environment, the stress, or the ability to express creative output. Of course, other reasons abound, but the ones mentioned seem to me to be indicative of the Zeitgeist—the subjective, "I am the determiner of my fate and reality" spirit that is so much the S.O.P of most individuals in our time. Would civilization and culture be able to maintain its ground if every one of its constituents suddenly had a flash of inspiration and decided that they were not happy with their vocations anymore and ran off to more "fulfilling" pursuits? I think hardly. What we would have is chaos.

Jesus Christ is God. There was never a time when He wasn't and there will never be such a time. We could say that He had the best "job" of all! The Persons of the Trinity, in their aseity and impassibility, were (and are!) in perfect fellowship with each other and needed nothing else to complete their happiness. There was no room  for improvement in the essence of God's being. But from eternity the plan was to create and bring about redemption. God would showcase to a created universe the splendor of His perfections, and this meant that Christ had to leave a "well-paying, perfect environment, stress-free, creative" job for an antithetical one, in a manner of speaking. He "...though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." (Phil. 2:6-7). This was the job description, and what a job it was! God became man—what fitting analogy in the corporate world can we find for the Incarnation? The CEO becoming a janitor? Not even close. The radical humility and self-effacement of Christ is the wonder of all wonders, and this fact shall stand for all eternity.

What if more people, I should say Christians, had more of Christ's willingness to take on a "lousy job" (rhetorically-speaking) when the need demands it, instead of making their "happiness" the chief criterion for their state of being? Perhaps more of God's will shall be done on earth as it is in heaven then.

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