WORLD has not been a fan of Cornel West, the public intellectual who calls himself a "prophetic Christian" and mixes up Jeremiah with left-wing panaceas. But he made a recent job change that shows a good understanding of making maximum use of whatever time God gives us.
West, 58, started his academic career in 1977 as an assistant professor at Union Theological Seminary. Then politically correct universities began competing for him, and he taught at Yale, Harvard, and Princeton, writing 19 books in the process and becoming a frequent guest on television and radio gabfests.
Now, though, he's returning to New York City to hang his hat once again at Union. His reasoning is sensible: "I don't have that much time, and I want to be able to do precisely what I'm called to do." He told The New York Times that he also looks forward to be within walking distance of the Apollo Theater.
Union Seminary president Serene Jones, one of West's former students, explained it well: "In coming here, Cornel comes to a place where his scholarly commitments and his activism don't live in two different worlds. As you get older, the more integrated your life is, the healthier it feels and the less time you have to spend waking up deciding who you're going to be that day. At Union, he just has to be Cornel."