Thursday, November 6, 2008


Last night I was talking with our teens about what jobs they wanted to do when they grow up.
I asked them rank a list of nine characteristics of jobs they might want or want to avoid. They included things like:

- Making lots of $

- Being your own boss

- Becoming famous

- Making a difference in the world

- Doing manual labor

- Finding a job I like

- Working with others

We talked about choosing your job. It was interesting to hear the various tasks people were thinking about. Some included:

- Farming

- Pediatric medicine

- Veterinarian medicine

- Coast Guard rescue

It was a great time to hear about their hopes and dreams. I heard them thinking through how they might want to spend their life. Pretty powerful stuff.

But today I read something that reminded me of this fact: sometimes we don't choose. Sometimes we are chosen.

Think about the word vocation. Webster's New Concise Dictionary gives two definitions for vocation:

2. occupation

1. calling

Think about that second definition for a moment. Is it possible that things you are doing in your life, things you enjoy doing, aren't simply a job (boring, monotonous, insignificant), but are actually a calling? Could it be the things that excite us most may be places where we are responding to something or Someone outside of ourselves?

If we are called in our vocation, then there is A Voice who vocalizes; One who calls us.

Think about Moses (Exodus 3:4). God called to him from within the bush.

Think about God speaking to Noah to get ready for the flood (Genesis 6). A little bit like Evan Almighty, with a few modifications.

Or think about my personal favorite, Samuel. God calls the boy, Samuel, three times before Eli (the priest and spiritual leader who was supposed to know this was The Voice), finally figures out what is going on. (For the whole story, read 1 Samuel 3.)

I am convinced God's calling is not just for a few. It's not just for the pastor or the priest. It's not just for huge tasks like leading a nation out of slavery or becoming President.

I am convinced the Voice calls us to many tasks, both great and small, short-term and long-term, some seemingly insignificant or others with obvious significance.

So my question is this: have you ever stopped to reflect upon what you do, why you do it, and why it makes a difference? Have you ever asked yourself if you chose your vocation or if Someone was calling you to choose that path?

If you're really willing to ask and wait quietly for an answer, there's no telling what the response might be.

Grace & peace

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