nobody knew his secret ambition
i have never been able to understand the role that personal ambition plays in the christian life. i realize that Jesus' secret ambition was to give his life away, generations of my evangelical forbears sought to accomplish the great commission through individual conversions and in more recent times mainstream protestants and their emergent stepchildren redirected the church's focus to proclaiming and incarnating the Kingdom of God. but, up until this point in my life, i haven't learned how to develop a sense of personal ambition that benefits rather than detracts from the larger ecclesial, local and international communities of which i am a part.
on account of my confusion i have pretty much ignored stephen covey's immortal advice to "begin with the end in mind" and have simply tried to respond to vocational and occupational opportunities as they arise. fortunately, my ambivalence towards personal ambition has yet to wreck much havoc in my life. in fact, i suspect that the aforementioned approach has saved me from a number of significant personal mistakes, such as stepping into professional christian positions before i was mature* enough to handle the responsibility and yielding to mr. dewitt's wishes by succeeding walt jocketty before the 2004 season.
but, as i break into my thirties, i realize that if i do not take a more active interest in shaping my personal vocational and occupational worlds others will be only too happy to fashion these worlds for me. thus, in lieu of submitting myself to the service of the other's** ambitions i am going to take the risk of setting my course, fixing my sights and venturing forth.
i only hope that if my ambition doesn't exactly align with God's, it's not totally at odds. moreover, in the midst of this process i hope that the value i place on living for others is not eclipsed by my rather lamentable tendency towards radical individualism.
* read: slick, pragmatic and political.
** some of whom i love and respect.