I’m reading Walter Isaacson’s wonderful recent treatment of Albert Einstein. In the very first chapter he reveals Einstein’s motivation – or at least one of them – behind the patent examiner’s desire to get a doctorate. Issacson explains that Einstein “had been repeatedly thwarted in his efforts to win an academic job or even get a doctoral degree, which he hoped might get him promoted from a third- to a second-class examiner at the patent office” (p. 1)
Einstein, one of the most brilliant scientific minds of the 20th century, hoped that he might become a second-class examiner at the patent office.
Now, I’m certain Einstein’s motivations at this juncture of his life can’t be collapsed down to his desire to get promoted, but Issacson’s comment made me wonder how often our earnest vision for our future falls far, far short of what God intends.
How often do we limit the scope of our plans to what we might be able to accomplish by the diligent application of our own efforts and strengths?
Are we looking for a new career when God wishes to use us to transform our community?
Are we just trying to figure out a way to get out of debt when the Lord wants to unleash us as a conduit for financial blessings to others?
Do we really open up our minds to the realization that our minds are insufficient to grasp what he can do through us? Paul told the Christians at Ephesus:
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” (Eph 3:20,TNIV)
Do we maintain faith-flexible paradigms?