Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sick of Your Job?

It is common to hear people complaining about their jobs. When they are unemployed, they yearn for an interview which will eventually land them a job. Some, after a while working at their jobs, they get bored. Some get frustrated. Others start to look for another job. Sometimes, the new job is better. Other times, it is worse. A common question for anyone in their mid-life is this: "What is your vocation?"

The word 'vocation' comes from the latin vocatio, which primarily means 'called out' or 'summoned to.' It is something that is unchanging, even though our jobs may change. Vocation is not equal to a job. In fact, a vocation is a calling. It is like a doctor. His job may be with a hospital, a clinic, or a medical researcher in an organization. That job as a doctor is NOT his vocation. His vocation is described more or less in his Hippocratic Oath, a pledge to use his skills and knowledge for the betterment of mankind, in the medical arena. Rev Bill Haley contributes a good article entitled, "When Your Vocation and Your Job Don't Match" that talks about the difference between vocation and a job. In it, he identifies 5 major distinctions about vocation, in particular how Christians should understand vocation.
  1. It is a calling to Jesus Christ;
  2. Our deepest vocations are NOT paid;
  3. See all our work as 'kingdom work'
  4. If we understand our vocation, we will pursue it regardless;
  5. Those who follow their vocation, their call, are prepared to take risks to fulfill the calling.
From time to time, it is good to remind ourselves again to make a distinction between our jobs and our vocation. Our jobs do often change. Our vocations do not.


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