The Second Calling of Art
Art Isennagle stood on the balcony at Nonnburg Abbey watching the morning sun slowly reveal the rugged beauty of Untersberg Mountain in Salzburg, Austria. The morning air, newly washed by an early rain, was crisp and cool.
The brisk stroll to the abbey had invigorated him. To get there he had walked through streets uniformly lined with immaculate houses, each one sporting window boxes spilling over with June flowers. His mind was flooded with anticipation.
For five years in the mid-1980s, Art had been successfully fast-tracking his way up the corporate ladder in an insurance company, yet he was deeply dissatisfied, nearing burnout, and unsure of God's purpose for his life.
One evening, after reading "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help" in Psalm 121, he decided to seize the moment, trekking from Ohio to the Austrian Alps. As he hiked deep into the mountains, Art kept hearing a line spoken to Julie Andrews by a nun in the film The Sound of Music: "You have a great capacity to love. What you must find out is how God wants you to spend that love." By the end of his journey, Art realized he would spend his love on young children.
Fast-forward to the 1990s:
Art Isennagle, with a sly smile on his face, looks out across a classroom swollen with chatting children. He takes a deep breath and shouts in full voice: "Prepare to be freaked out!"
"Prepare to be freaked out!" he exclaims again, racing to the front of the room, where books line the chalkboard rail. Art grabs a book, opens it, and a castle pops out from the center.
The children squeal and their eyes widen. The class is planning to build model castles, and these books are just the thing to start their minds working on the plans.
Art can't ...