The “Long” Shortcut (Part 5): A Gatekeeper To A Chancellor

The Cambridge dictionary defines a shortcut as a route more direct than the usual route or a quicker way of doing something. It is a faster or shorter way of getting to a place. Humans naturally lean towards shortcuts at the slightest opportunity, even with obvious risks and dangers. It is often argued why waste precious time and resources to achieve what can be achieved within the shortest possible time. Therefore, systems in both the service and manufacturing sectors are constantly exploring ways to shorten processes to achieve efficiency and maximize profitability. In like manner, God, the creator of the entire universe in record time, would be the first to opt for the best, effective, and efficient way of executing every aspect of His Kingdom business. 

Unfortunately, there seems to be a popular assertion that God is not too interested in shortcuts, even if they appear to be risk-free and the obvious way out of the affairs of His children. One scripture usually picked out of context to back that assertion can be found in Exodus 13:17. It reads, “When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter.” Although God is the most significant stakeholder of our walk with Him, believers more often than not behave and pretend as though they are more concerned about productivity in God’s vineyard business than He. God’s way may appear long and impossible, but it always turns out to be the shortest route toward set goals. Part five of this series will examine how a gatekeeper woke up one day and returned home as a Chancellor in a foreign land. Lessons will also be gleaned regarding maintaining the needed composure when traversing the humanly “long” hauls when God leads. 

Except for staging a palace coup d’etat, no Organogram provides a direct pathway for a gatekeeper to become the King, the Vizier, or second in Command. Indeed, in most jurisdictions, foreigners are not even entertained around their security zones and installations, let alone getting the opportunity to serve as security operatives. Such was the plight of one of the Jewish exiles named Mordecai, who got to serve as one of the gatekeepers at the royal palace of Susa under King Xerxes, who ruled over 127 Provinces from India to Cush. In (Esther 2:21-23), Mordecai was at duty post and heard his office colleagues planning evil and mayhem against his boss, King Xerxes. He diligently reported that treasonable conspiracy to the appropriate quarters for action to be taken. The issue was investigated to be credible, and the culprits were punished. 

Some, out of apathy, politics, and disloyalty, would have decided not to own up to the rebels who conspired to assassinate the King (Esther 2:21-23). This practice and bold step of Mordecai was quite unusual for a captive, foreigner, or servant eagerly waiting for a day he and his fellow citizens to be delivered from the power of King Xerxes. In (Esther 2:21- 3:1), if there was anyone in that empire who deserved to be promoted, then it was Mordecai. The promotion, however, went to Haman, his soon-to-be archenemy. Some may even argue that it was this promotion of Haman that made him proud and so powerful to the extent of having the guts to hatch such an all-time diabolical plan against the Children of God. Others would also argue that Mordecai courted needless enmity for himself by reporting the two who planned to kill the King to the authorities. When the promotion did not go Mordecai’s way, it appeared his loyalty to the King had been in vain. 

However, unknowingly to Mordecai himself, that faithfulness fruit of the Spirit he bore became a bedrock upon which God would lift him beyond his imagination. It was only a matter of time. Meanwhile, observers would be worried, arguing that God’s ways are often too slow for comfort. God’s time is still the best in any believer’s life. Although very disappointing and difficult to accept at times, this old Christian adage still stands very tall and true. 

Believers must not be worried when they see the “Hamans” in their organizations and establishments getting promoted while they remain stagnant. Unlike humans who promote, God lifts His children from the lowest to the highest pinnacle in His time. (Psalm 75:6-7). Therefore, all who desire to be lifted by God in His own time must shun evil and every attempt to condone or cover the same in whichever capacity and wherever they find themselves. Haman, the Agagite, unfortunately, made a big issue against Mordecai and his people out of a relatively trivial matter at the palace gate. He managed to get Queen Esther’s husband, the King, to sign the death sentence of the Jews from India to Cush. Just around the same period, the King suffered a sleepless night on one occasion. He was disturbed Mordecai had not been promoted, acknowledged, or rewarded for uncovering that abortive coup against him. God caused Haman to plan and organize the colorful coronation of Mordecai as the King’s favorite with immediate effect. Ultimately, Mordecai, the slave gatekeeper, became the Vizier of the Kingdom of Persia. Other words that describe his elevated status are Chancellor, Chief Minister, or Prime Minister. 

Although Mordecai was Esther’s mentor and coach, he did not envy her when she became the Queen while he worked as a gatekeeper. In the end, Mordecai’s uplifting was even more powerful than Queen Esther’s in terms of the governance structure of Persia. “Mordecai the Jew was second in rank to King Xerxes (Esther 10:3). Regarding Haman’s plot, God helped the Israelites and redeemed them from the hands of Haman. Ultimately, Haman and his family suffered the fate he planned against Mordecai and his people. (Esther 8:2,9,10,15; 9:3-4). Had Mordecai been agitated about not being promoted around the time Haman got promoted, the best he would have gotten was probably the rank of senior gatekeeper. By the time he could be eligible to apply for the rank of a Principal and then to a Chief gatekeeper, he would have been on retirement. However, God knew the shortest distance to move Mordecai from the gate to the Chair. For those who believe in elimination by rough tactics to attain certain prestigious positions, the fate of Mordecai’s colleagues who tried to take up the ruins of power is a lesson for all. Therefore, Mordecai would have been killed if he had attempted anything like that to get to the top.

Some also see the route of obedience, faithfulness, sincerity, honesty, and service loyalty as a long and frustrating journey to rise to power. There are still people who rely on the use of charms, occultism, and sorcery to get others they perceive as competitors removed or killed so they can take their place. Unfortunately, some believers buy into such devilish schemes, forgetting what Jesus said in Matthew 26:52. It reads, “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.” The “long” shortcut for Mordecai, the slave gatekeeper, to become the second in Command to King Xerxes was the sacrifices he made in nurturing his orphan cousin Esther and his faithfulness, loyalty, and diligence as a gatekeeper at the seat of government. 

From the above illustration, we can firmly conclude that what humans call a long path toward success is God’s shortcut for His children. We have also realized that while many depend on their qualifications and hard work to occupy positions of trust, others see that as a rather long journey full of uncertainties. They thus resort to backbiting, lobbying, the use of feminine power, and elimination of supposed competitors by rough tactics, which come with their inherent disappointments and miseries. God, however, knows the shortest but safest route to the assigned blessed destinations of all He calls His children. His route doesn’t take time; it saves it instead for all who put their trust in Him. 

William L. Hogan once said, “God is under no obligation to explain or defend Himself to us. His ways are often perplexing and sometimes very painful, but be sure of this: God Himself has brought you to that difficult spot, and He makes no mistakes. We must rest assured that He knows what He is doing, even when we do not, and that He does everything well.” However, When God chose to use the Red Sea route for Israel instead of the shortcut, He explained His rationale to them. “For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt. So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle.” (Exodus 13:18).

Many believers, unfortunately, elongate God’s shortcut for them by the choices they made and by their lifestyles but turn around to make blasphemous comments about God and create disaffection for Him. Israel would not have spent 40 years in the wilderness for that journey to the promised Land. Those years could be best described as imprisonment or punishment and must not be added to the total mileage from Egypt to Cannan. God punished them to wander about until all over 20 years perished, except for Caleb and Joshua.

There can be no one who needs productivity in God’s vineyard than Himself. Therefore, there will always be good reasons, primarily out of the reach of human comprehension, why the apparent delays are loaded with intrigues anytime God is in charge. He always proves Himself as the faithful one, with the end being extraordinarily glorious if only we are prepared to go the “long” hull with Him. Humankind’s way perceived as a shortcut is instead loaded with risk, uncertainties, and speculations founded on human wishes. The routes God uses are incomprehensible and inaccessible by humankind’s efforts. It is always viewed as long, although it is always the shortest and safest way to reach our destinations. His Grace and help are where He leads.

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