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When You’re Friends Don’t Understand You

I graduated from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor’s in Science 30 years ago. One week prior to this special day, the Ultimate Frisbee team played in a tournament at Fairmount Park in Philadelphia with the goal of qualifying for East Regionals. Despite a major injury to a teammate, Delaware went undefeated. One of the rewards was playing an exhibition against the professional team based out of Philly. Following this game, I was informed that the coaching staff wanted me to join their team. After considering this offer, I turned down this once in a lifetime opportunity due to a calling from God.

Make yourself an ark of gopher or cypress wood; make in it rooms (stalls, pens, coops, nests, cages, and compartments) and cover it inside and out with pitch (bitumen). 15 And this is the way you are to make it: the length of the ark shall be 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits [that is, 450 ft. x 75 ft. x 45 ft.]. 16 You shall make a roof or [b]window [a place for light] for the ark and finish it to a cubit [at least 18 inches] above—and the [c]door of the ark you shall put in the side of it; and you shall make it with lower, second, and third stories. 17 For behold, I, even I, will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy and make putrid all flesh under the heavens in which are the breath and spirit of life; everything that is on the land shall die, Genesis 6:14-17.

Noah found himself in a similar situation in the days of dinosaurs. Noah lived during the age of the earth’s open canopy. According to Genesis 2:5-6, the initial atmosphere did not contain rain as the springs of the earth watered the ground and vegetation. Subsequently, when Noah stopped hanging out with friends to build this massive boat, others began to think that Noah was crazy; loco. Unfortunately, what the people didn’t understand was Noah’s special call from God attached with a promise to save his family from this impending flood.

Now [in Haran] the Lord said to Abram, Go for yourself [for your own advantage] away from your country, from your relatives and your father’s house, to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you [with abundant increase of favors] and make your name famous and distinguished, and you will be a blessing [dispensing good to others]. And I will bless those who bless you [who confer prosperity or happiness upon you] and [a]curse him who curses or uses insolent language toward you; in you will all the families and kindred of the earth be blessed [and by you they will bless themselves], Genesis 12:1-3.

Last week I left a cushy job of 9 years to start over. While I may regret this in the weeks, months, and years to come, there’s more to life than a job. When you’re working years quickly fade away, you have to start thinking of others rather than yourself. Although this transition will take some time to adjust, this new stage in my life will be centered around family. Before I left Delaware for good, I tried to explain the rationale for moving to South Carolina. Yet, there will always be some friends who won’t understand altering one’s life to follow God’s call.

by Jay Mankus

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