Is Your Work a Calling?

My brother spent over 30 years flying planes. Highly successful, he’s piloted fighter jets in the military, corporate jets in business and even spent time as a Governor’s pilot. For Jerry, flying planes was a lifelong dream and an extremely fulfilling profession. Several years ago, Jerry changed careers and now teaches middle school science. Just recently, Jerry told me how much he loves his work and that he sees it as a calling. He knows he’s been called by someone much greater than himself. He’s now on mission and doing something much bigger than fulfilling a personal dream.

How about you, do you see your work as a calling? Seeing work in this way changes our perspective and gives our work purpose. The Latin word vocare, meaning - to call - is the root of our common word “vocation”. For too many Christians, vocation simply means “a job”; something we do to earn a check. But, it is intended to be so much more. Work becomes a calling when we work as unto the Lord (Colossians 3:23) and aspire to fulfill His dreams and not our own. This idea that work is a calling comes straight from the scriptures. The Bible opens with a picture of a working God who created the universe and has been at the job of sustaining it ever since. We were created in His image (Genesis 1:26) and He gave us the capacity to work, to fashion and create. Genesis 2:15 says, the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden to work it and to take care of it. That’s right; He created us and then commissioned us with the responsibility to work as stewards of His creation through our work. Tim Keller defines our daily work in this way; “rearranging the raw materials of a particular domain to draw out its potential for the flourishing of everyone.” Adam was called to do this in the garden and we are called to do the same in our particular vocations. Thus, through our work, we employ the gifts and skills God entrusted to us to love our neighbor, bring Him glory and further His Kingdom.

Our workplace challenge is to start seeing our work differently; as a calling. With the right perspective, our work will become a crucial component to a meaningful and satisfying life. Why? Because we know we have been called to it by God and for God.  We do it to make a difference, to advance the gospel and for His Glory.