QT: Crossroads of life: Jerusalem or Persia?

QT: Crossroads of life: Jerusalem or Persia?
Crossroads of life: Jerusalem or Persia? Nehemiah2:1—2 Week 26: 20/06/2023. Tue

And truly, "As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field" (Psalm 103:15). With half of 2023 gone, we do well to review and adjust where we want to go for the second half. For Nehemiah, he too needs to decide, stay or take leave to do God's mission?

Nehemiah 2:1–2 [1] In the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was before him, I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence. [2] And the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, seeing you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of the heart.” Then I was very much afraid. (ESV)

Nehemiah was unable to hide the sadness of his facial expression. Frequently, workers might successfully mask the downcast facial expression during the course of work. Just as one should, as some say, endeavour not to bring work back to home, then the reciprocal should be true—that one should not bring personal problems and worries (and other non-work stuffs) to work.

However, if the worker or boss do not consider work as the ultimate meaning giver in life, then it is inevitable that the other "ultimate things" of life will affect or influence work, as in the case of Nehemiah.

Nehemiah was a cup-bearer to the Persian king, but it would be clear to readers that that job was not his ultimate pursuit in life. His ultimate identity was not for the glory of the land he was standing on, nor it owner—the Persian king. Nehemiah's life was tied to Jerusalem, the temple there, and ultimately to the God connected with them.

True self is very much influenced by the ultimate concerns of one's life. It would then be difficult to mask or hide the sadness of countenance of Nehemiah if those things did not go well for his "ultimate concern". Lesser valued work could not hide the angst of the true loyalty or royalty in one's heart.

It was said that while one might act out non-true beliefs temporarily for a short time, it would not be possible for a person to live consistently with what is not true (be it true to one's held beliefs, or true to the reality that is there). True self would surely reveal itself one way or another, be it in the course of work, play, recreation, wherever we are present.

Congratulations to those who are at the very place where God wanted you to be. For others, the June half-year break would be a good time to reflect and adjust.