Tag Archives: vocation

Work — Nourishment for the Soul?

Standard

I just finished another chapter of the book I’ve been reading for my morning devotional, Awake My Soul, by Timothy Jones.  He poses an interesting question — Can work not only feed the body, but nourish the soul?  It’s a chapter about the idea of vocation, or calling.  Martin Luther, of course, argued that not only priests and nuns, but milkmaids, blacksmiths and housewives shared in God’s work in the world.  The work we do becomes holy if reverently approached.  Our work can serve others and influence others for Christ.

Image result for images of vocation

Just recently I was talking to a friend about her Via de Cristo retreat (I was the leader of her weekend).  I shared with her how I felt that God had called me to train the team for that retreat, and she said, “Joan, you trained the team just for me.”  One of the big surprises that happened for my friend, was an opportunity to reconnect with another woman named Karen, someone she hadn’t seen since she was a girl.  Karen became Beth Ann’s spiritual mentor for a time.  I knew Karen through my workplace;  I was working at a job I was not eager to take, yet it led to an amazing experience for somebody else. No doubt there were other plans of God at work that I’ll never even know about.  It wasn’t where I wanted to be, but it was where I needed to be, and where God placed me at that time.  Knowing that has nourished my soul.

Often we are called to do what we enjoy, even if it involves financial sacrifice.  After retirement, I started work for the local library, only to find myself feeling unsettled.  I liked the job;  I like the people, so what was the problem?  I just had the continual, nagging feeling that it was taking me away from what God wanted me to do.  So I quit and now find myself blogging and working as a volunteer for my church.  These activities have fed my soul, and maybe to the souls of a few others.

Of course, it’s a constant challenge to discern God’s will, and we’ll make wrong turns.  We won’t always get it right.  We must pray, ask advice from Godly friends, and pay attention to our circumstances and how God is using our gifts and talents.

As Jones says in his book,

“We spend too much time at work for it not to be a setting for daily seeking and experiencing God.  …..CONCENTRATE ON WORK, BUT MAKE ROOM FOR GOD…”

 

Advertisements

Stewardship of Our Life

Standard

Image result for martin luther quotes on vocationI blogged recently about being a Pastor’s wife.  The truth is I, and all of you, have many roles.  We are mothers and wives, employees and daughters, friends and neighbors, church members and siblings.  In each of these roles we have a responsibility to be God’s hands and feet in the world.  On a Via de Cristo weekend, we call the team members who are serving  others chas, which stands for Christ’s hands in Action.  When you think of your whole life that way, it puts a different perspective on the smallest and most mundane actions.

Martin Luther, changed the whole understanding of vocation.  In his time, those who had a “vocation” were the priests, nuns and monks.  These people were the ones who were giving their lives to God.  Luther said everyone could do this;  those in religious orders were no different or better than the ordinary person who was striving to dedicate their daily life to God.  Milking cows was as holy and important a role as leading the Mass.

This doesn’t mean we can go about our lives without any thought of God;  instead it means that we should be thinking of God and trying to do His will ALL THE TIME.  Imagine how the world would change if every one of us did this?  It would put an end to a lot of cursing, gossip, insults and other kinds of careless talk.  It would lead to productive employees, concerned parents, helpful neighbors and caring friends.  I suspect that the harder I try to do this, the more contented and peaceful I’ll become.

The work I have in this world is the work God has given me.  The roles I fulfill are the ones He chose for me.  Each of them will teach me something and bring me closer to Him if I just remember who I am:  a steward of the King.

What’s Your Vocation?

Standard

Vocation is one of those words Lutherans like to use.  Luther taught that each of us has a vocation, or calling, it’s not something reserved for priests, monks and nuns. It can be lived out in the midst of ordinary life. True vocation is that passion I spoke about in my last post.  In Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Filled Life when he asked the question, “What on earth am I here for?”  Each of us has to answer that question, hopefully in a prayerful way, in order to discover our vocation.

Image result for martin luther quote on vocation

What Turns You On?

Standard

Eric Liddell,  the famous Olympic runner portrayed in the movie “Chariots of Fire” once said, “God made me fast and when I run, I feel His pleasure.”  If, like Kate, you are wondering how to spend your time, look toward your God-given talents and gifts, and look for your passion.  When do you get the feeling, “this is what I was meant to do?”

A couple of my blogging sisters call me “the blogoholic”.  They say I am obsessed with our blog.  I don’t think that’s really true, but right now it is my passion.  It doesn’t feel like work to write a post practically every day.  I get a charge out of every comment and like.  I get an even bigger charge when I find a new writer to join us,  learn something new about technology, or when someone else shares a post.  Writing is a talent, and encouragement is one of my spiritual gifts–being the chief blogger combines both and I love it.

My dear friend, Nancy is a teacher.  She once told me that teaching is not just a job for her–if she couldn’t get paid for it, she would teach anyway.   She would teach Sunday School, or Bible Study, or join the Literacy Council and teach reading.  Teaching is her passion.

Beth Ann, one of the lady bloggers, is a musician.  The best times of her life have been spent making music.  She sings in the choir, she plays guitar for Via de Cristo weekends and serves on the Via de Cristo Board as the head musician.  Music touches her in a special way.  It’s her passion.

Michele, another Lutheran Lady, loves people and loves to witness.  She proclaims her Christian faith “loud and proud.”  It doesn’t matter who you are, or what you’ve done, Michele wants to be your friend and introduce you to her best friend, Jesus.  It’s her passion.

So think about your life.  What are the things that make you feel fulfilled?  When do you get that “click” that means, I was created for this?  If you became independently wealthy and didn’t need to work, how would you spend your time and money?  What energizes you?  What turns you on?  I want to hear from our readers and bloggers!

“Never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord.”  Romans 12:11