The Kingdom of Heaven at work on earth seems like an oxymoron. My good friend Bill once asked, “How can Heaven be at work when my employer feels like the Devil himself?” Bill had worked at a large company all his life and barely managed to 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 Bill’s 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.
What would you do?
Whom do you serve—the Kingdom of Heaven or the ruthless manager of commerce?
Bill chose to stand firm on his spiritual principles and let the chips fall where they may. Unfortunately, Bill was given notice soon after.
At 58 years old, the job market was difficult. Two months after being let go, Bill was looking at a severance package, unemployment, and a very difficult season for his family. He was sitting in the human resources office 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 in these matters, in order to qualify for exit benefits and severance packages.
Bill’s former manager was furious. He told the HR person to shred the document, explaining that Bill would now be working in his division of the company. “We will re-organize and find a place for you within my sphere of authority,” the manager said. “We will get you to your normal exit age of 60 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. His 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’ve got for these next two years.”
Bubbles of Heaven are felt tangibly by people close to them. The old division manager and the HR worker both got a new understanding that the Kingdom of Heaven is closer than we think.
Bill was rescued from the ruthless manager. He was placed in the very best position he could have hoped for—or prayed for.
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 been taught by many church leaders that there is a Grand Canyon divide between secular and sacred. But 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 workplaces—inevitably serving the Father as well. Taking faith with you, even into the world of work, can result in bubbles of Heaven.
May you experience the Kingdom of Heaven as you walk through the doorways of commerce!
Steve digs deeper into the emotional facet of the Kingdom of Heaven with a young screenwriter who experienced a Bubble of the Kingdom of Heaven for the first time.