I had a bad day yesterday; discretion prevents my being too specific, but it involved a vivid indication that the twenty years of deliberation, research, imagination, and composition that have gone into my scholarly work simply haven’t made much of an impact. And if the work in which I take (perhaps unjustifiable) pride isn’t a blip on the academy’s or the church’s radar, on what basis might I make a pitch for either church or academy to hire me? Please note that I’m not asking for accolades, not a sedan chair, ostrich-feather fans, the applause of adoring throngs — either from you, dear reader, or from some hypothetical employer or colleagues — but simply some recognition that I’ve actually done something. It’s difficult to avoid the sentiment that my work isn’t even worth refutation, even though one implication of my work is, ironically, that it would not readily gain traction in established interpretive circles.
But all that is vanity, especially since merely having a job for next year is an achievement that so far lies beyond my grasp; obviously it’s time for me to humble down. I’m ruminating about whether it makes more sense to try out some vocation where I haven’t already washed out, or to hang onto a line of work that at which I’m already demonstrably better than average, but without sufficient recognition among my peers for the quality of that work to matter.