Why Your Secular Job is So Secular

(Pic: http://www.salon.com/2011/09/29/american_secularism/)Why is your secular job so secular? Why does work feel like a space where God is absent? Why does the workplace seem like an alternative universe to the church service you left on Sunday?Over the next several posts, I will explore these questions and how to respond. I’m deeply indebted to Dr. James K. A. Smith of Calvin College—both for his book How Not To Be Secular and for a lecture, he did in Manhattan on another of his works, … [Read More...]

Danger: the voice you hear, may only be your own

Talking to yourself is perfectly normal on the streets of the city, but it when it comes to finding and following your calling, more voices are needed. You’re Wonderful, but...Have you ever been wrong? I know it is hard to admit. But here in the private headspace where you’re reading this blog, perhaps it's safe enough to acknowledge that listening to your inner voice doesn’t always turn out so well.One of the things I enjoy about living in NYC is mastering the subway syste … [Read More...]

Two Sides of the Calling Coin: A better way to frame vocation

 Figuring out CallingIs calling the possession a chosen, few, those who are holy enough and spiritual enough to hear from God regarding what they should do with their lives?  The Call: the province of the saintly elite, not to be possessed by most mere mortals.Or is calling the personal right of anyone and everyone who will bother to do the work to find their dream job.   After all, “your calling is work that makes you happy.” Near Misses on CallingThe above line … [Read More...]

Replace Your Job with A Calling in 2017

  What Fills Your Monday?Monday is the day we head back to work.   The firm where I office, WeWork, displays signs that give a shout out to loving Monday. Do you love Monday? On this first post of 2017, I’d like you to consider the possibilities.   What if "calling" defeated "job," if "vocation" drove away "occupation?"  An occupation fills your time. A Vocation fulfills your destiny.   A job is working for a living. A Calling is working for a purpo … [Read More...]

Follow These Clues to A Clear Sense of Calling

 The Storks Find Their CallingOver the holiday break, we watched Storks (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4624424/). (Spoiler alert) The plot goes something like this.  The storks have graduated from baby delivery to package delivery—less hassles and better profits. Junior, the heir apparent for CEO, makes several choices that lead to a baby being accidently produced which then requires delivery.   The delivery adventure leads Junior to an epiphany which culminates in a pitch to the stor … [Read More...]

The Secret to Your Vocation: The Caller is Calling

The language of calling is all around us.   The word is right there on the subway sign with the implication: "follow the right path, get the right education, and you’ll discover your calling."   We seem attracted to the idea that you can find a path to a dream job, your a life-purpose, a destiny.   We love “calling,” but we’re collectively squeamish about the source of this information.   We are not sure about the "caller.” They say they want the kingdom, but they don’t want God in it. Johnny C … [Read More...]

Finding Meaning in Your Work: a tale of two cities

 What's the Purpose of My Work?This is a question I hear frequently.   In a recent focus group of professionals, purpose was the number 1 concern/question participants had about their work.  "Money as the chief end of work" also was a concern and source of angst as group members reflected on the culture of the companies where they are employed.   After a delivering a talk on calling, an audience member came to me and said, I can't imagine how my work has anything to do with the p … [Read More...]

Callings Are Better than Just One Calling

Calling brings with it a sense of clarity and destiny.   Purpose infuses what we do and drives us forward through challenges and around obstacles to a better future.   As I dispelled some myths about calling in my last two posts, calling is not just for priests and not just about work.   So if calling is for all of us and goes beyond our jobs, how do we understand it in a way that will give us this durable center from which to live?   Answer: a robust model of calling. The Robust Mod … [Read More...]

Does “Calling” Equal Easy?

Does the Right Calling Mean an Easy Ride?For some reason, I'm under the impression that the right work (my calling) will be easy work.  Work that is a calling will come naturally and be instantly fulfilling.  If work does not come naturally and is not fulfilling, then the logical conclusion is that this work must not be my calling.Perhaps it's the "Easy" button on my desk.  (Yes, I have one!)Perhaps the assumption is fed by all the advice columns and how-to books I read.   Coll … [Read More...]

Why “Calling” Isn’t Working For You

Myths (commonly circulated half-truths and falsehoods) have a way of ruining otherwise good things for the rest of us.  As an almost lifelong suburbanite, I was raised to think of cities a dirty, dangerous, congested, and terrible places to raise a family.  After two years in New York City, dirty and congested?  Yes.  Dangerous and a terrible place to raise a famil? No--those are myths.  And myths are spoiling the attraction and power of calling for many of us. The Myths About Call … [Read More...]