The Kingdom of Heaven at work often seems like an oxymoron; two terms that don’t even belong in the same sentence. I have heard phrases like, “Heaven at work? Ha! my employer feels like the Devil himself.” Bill thought that too. He had worked at a large company all his life managed to reasonably get by working within the company structure. A couple of years ago a new division manager was promoted to oversee Bill and his crew.
He was described as the Devil incarnate! He demanded Bill do something unprofessional, something which violated Bills personal integrity and values. It was the first time in 24 years anyone in the company made such a demand. The ruthless division manager told Bill “you either do what I am asking or you’re fired.”
It was a big decision because at Bill’s age, he would lose his health care connected to his retirement- still two years away. So whom do you serve the Kingdom of Heaven or the ruthless manager of commerce? Bill chose to stand firm on spiritual principles which governed his entire adult life. Let the chips fall where they may. He was released in October with an offload date Feb 14. He used up his earned vacation and unused sick days Bill was a dedicated employee.
At 58 years old the job market was difficult. By Feb. 10 he was looking at a severance package, unemployment and a very difficult season for his family. He was sitting in the human resources offices filling out the termination documentation when one of his old bosses stormed into the room. He glared at Bill. “I just heard about your termination. How come you didn’t come to me?” The HR person commented that confidentiality was a requirement of these matters in order to qualify for exit benefits including severance packages.
The former manager was furious. He told the HR person to shred the documentation. Bill was now working in his division of the large company. “We will reorganize and find a place for you within my sphere of authority,” the manager said. “We will get you to your normal exit age of sixty so you can have continuity of health care and an immediate pension.”
A bubble of the Kingdom of Heaven ignited right there in the office. Bill began to weep. The old division manager knew Bill was a good man but now was coming to understand just why Bill was the way he was. “I trusted God to provide for me and my family I didn’t expect this,” Bill said. “God bless you for helping me out. You will get the very best I got for these next two years.”
Bubbles of Heaven are felt tangibly by people close to them. The old division manager, the HR person now both have a new understanding that the Kingdom of Heaven is closer than we think.
At the very last moment, perfect timing in fact, the Kingdom of Heaven operates on a totally different calendar, Bill was rescued from the ruthless manager. He was placed in the very best position he could have hoped for, prayed for. The bubble of the Kingdom of Heaven also reignited when Bill got home telling his family what had happened.
Serving God doesn’t end when we walk out of our places of worship. We take the Kingdom of Heaven with us wherever we go… even into the workplace. We have accepted the myth there is a Grand Canyon divide between secular and sacred. The Kingdom of Heaven recognizes no such divide and we shouldn’t either. We can take the Kingdom of Heaven with us as we serve people in our work places in doing so we actually serve the King of kings. When the Father smiles good provision follows, in this case through an old colleague. Taking faith with you, even into the world of work can result in bubbles of heaven. Exciting thought huh!
May you experience the Kingdom of Heaven as you walk through the doorways of commerce. See you next time to probe the facet of emotions.