Sunday, 20 December 2009

Struggle or peace

The origins for this entry date back to attending a Computing Education conference in Wellington in January of this year. One of the themes that was discussed was the journal and conference rankings for evaluating research contributions. The claim is that research is evaluated based on its contribution but in reality is that the contribution is assessed based on where the research results are published. As a consequence, if a researcher seeks the recognition for their research in this world, then they had better ensure that their work is published in the highly rated conferences and journals. Failure to publish in such journals and conferences leads the researchers work being regarded as inferior regardless of its quality or importance.

What it boils down to is that this world promises riches and contentment but only if you participate in the games. If you challenge the system, you are seen as not playing the game. If you seek to advance in this world's systems then you must play the game and not seek to serve and help those who need our help. Don't challenge the system if you want the rewards of this world.

Christ challenges us to serve others and to sacrifice our advancement in this world in order top receive the eternal joy and contentment (Luke 6:20-26). Is it struggle or peace or is it struggle and peace?

Barclay commenting on this passage quotes Maltby who says “Jesus promised his disciples three things – that they would be completely fearless, absurdly happy, and in constant trouble.” If we seek to follow Jesus and to serve those who are in need then we shouldn't expect the recognition of this world or the short term wealth that it might bring. We need to be prepared for a life time of struggle as we seek to serve those in real need.

At the conference, I made a decision that I would prefer to publish my work in places where it is needed and it can prove useful rather than chase the “A” rated publication outlets. I seek to publish to help others and not to grow my own status.

I did become frustrated at times in a workshop because we didn't get enough time to deal with things that I felt were important but was my frustration with the lack of time to help or the lose of recognition for understanding the issues that I felt were important? I suspect my frustration was more because of lack of recognition. This is the difference in attitude caused by walking in faith. If we walk in God's guidance, we will work away from the places of recognition and quietly help those who are in need. If we seek this world's glory, we will focus on gaining status and possibly miss the need. There is more pleasure in meeting the need than in gaining status.

Reference

Barclay, W. (1975). The gospel of Luke (revised ed.). Edinburgh: The Saint Andrew Press.

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