Most of my readers will know that I write a daily devotional for The High Calling, a website supported by Foundations for Laity Renewal, where I work. I’m proud to be associated with this website, which, among other things, features excellent writing by a wide variety of authors. They share their wisdom on “work, life, and God,” some of my favorite topics.
Today, I want to point you to three recent articles at The High Calling. I highly commend them to you.
Voskamp, author of the beloved book, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Right Where You Are, reflects on how we are living in the midst of a down economy and a demanding world. Here’s an excerpt:
[I]n the digital era we have lost all sense of seasons. All sense of day and night and on and off and fertility and furlough and idol and God. We wind the world, our bodies, tight and let go and expect to be in motion forever, spun, us watchmakers of our own.
Driven by forces higher up, we’re driven from the Highest of all, and how do I tell [this overworked man]? Somehow there has to be seasons, there are always seasons if there is any revolution. Farmers know this: it’s only the field that has had a rest that can yield above the rest.
A poignant reflection on the life and impact of Steve Jobs from Marcus Goodyear, poet and Senior Editor of The High Calling. Here’s how Goodyear begins:
Last week, my son talked to his cousin on Facetime. They were playing Legos together, turning their iPods back and forth, alternating between seeing each other’s faces and seeing each other’s toys.
Last month, my daughter disappeared into her bedroom with the same device for several hours and emerged with a short film “newscast” complete with interviews (between herself and herself), voice overs, and dramatic slow motion clips of her friends being silly.
These are the gifts of Steve Jobs.
He moves from thinking about Jobs to thinking about jobs, literally, that is to say, work. Goodyear writes:
For most of the Western World, our doing is wrapped up in our work. As a culture, we find our purpose and our identities in our work. Poet Gerard Manley Hopkins explained it this way, “Whát I do is me: for that I came.”
Jobs led his life by this mantra, seeking to put a dent in the universe, hoping to change the way people interact with each other and with information. He believed so strongly in the power of his work and the importance of excellence, that it was sometimes alarming.Goodyear helps us to think reflectively about the far-too-short life of Steve Jobs.
Christine Scheller is an accomplished writer with a special gift for conducting insightful interviews. Her most recent addition to The High Calling is a multi-part interview with Dr. Allan Josephson, Vice Chairman for Adolescent Psychiatric Services at the University of Louisville School of Medicine and author of three books. Josephson is also a Senior Fellow with the Laity Leadership Institute. A highly accomplished and respected scholar in the field of psychiatry, Josephson is also an articulate, committed Christian who has much to say about the relationship between faith and psychiatry.
One issue in Scheller’s article is the question of the self and work. Josephson suggests a number of questions that help us to think about ourselves in relationship to our work and our faith:
- How much of your “self esteem” is determined by your work success?
- When you experience a work related “failure”, what is your response?
- How do you cope with this?
- Do you feel you are running “too fast”?
- Do you make interpersonal, or technical, errors because you are multitasking?
- Do you have any solitude in your life?
- Do you feel you need this time?
- Is that time psychological or spiritual, or both?
- Do you feel you can’t keep up with the pace of your workplace? If so, what are your coping strategies to deal with feelings of “falling behind”?
- Can you say “No”? When you do, are you concerned with the consequences on interpersonal relationships?
- Do you feel you are running out of time in achieving your goals?
- Most individuals have an ideal of who they want to become/what they want to achieve. How close are you to achieving that ideal? If you don’t make it, how will you deal with it?
- In what way has your family of origin experience influenced your vocation choice and current work behaviors?
There is much here that worth’s thinking about. This article also contains links to Parts 2-4 for Scheller’s series on faith and psychiatry.
If you want to keep up with good reads at The High Calling, you can subscribe to a weekly update that will let you know some of the highlights from the past week.