Today’s guest post comes from Mona Lee, one of an excellent class of students from Bethel Seminary who recently studied the intersection between faith, vocation and work.
It seems that there is this tendency that Christians somehow learn to separate the work of God and regular everyday work. Personally I am unsure of where we learned this; maybe from past pastors and elders, fellow Christians, or maybe Satan is playing a mind game with us so that we feel we are not doing God’s work. Either way, with much consideration and thought it seems that when we as Christians fall into this thought process of feeling like we are not doing the work of God due to reasons such as we are not in ministry, a pastor, or a missionary, we tend to lose sight of God. This lost thus results in our lack of serving God, loving others, and showing others to and who God is. We become ineffective because we mope and feel that our lives are not making a difference.
Whether we are the plumber, teacher, dog sitter, or pastor all of us are called to be in relationship with God, to be in communion and community with God and with others. God has equipped us with certain gifts and when we use those gifts to glorify God and build our relationship with Him and others the jobs that we have has more meaning. An example that I would use is the artist Bezalel who though he was not prophet or teacher used his gift of artistry to build the tent of meeting, the Ark of the Covenant along the tables and so forth. He used his gift of art to be in relationship with God and bring others to a place of worship with God, showing who God was.
The big question; what if I am doing this job that I do not enjoy nor does it express my gifts in anyway? I have this job because it meets my needs. This is a tough question, personally I do not want to give the cliché answer of, well try to make the most of your job and use your gifts when you have the chance to. However, I am going to give the cliché answer of how you view your vocation and life will affect the way that you do work. If you view your vocation as just some secular job that does not serve God then that’s how you will view your life. Sadly to say, ministry probably will not happen. If however, you view your vocation as a place to be in relationship with God and other, being grateful in every aspect then you will do ministry knowing it or not. Our calling is not what we do, but how we do it. Delighting in God or not. God has called us to be in relationship with Him and when we are whether we are the pastor, nanny, or assembly line worker our vocation and life has more meaning because in everything we want to share God.