Working on my Calling
The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he is always doing both. – James Michener
I have been receiving tons of questions about work, calling and career paths. So I decided to blog about it. I am currently reading 48 Days to the Work You Love by Dan Miller, which is a book I would highly recommend to all who are looking for the work they love.
For you to do the work you love, you need to know the difference between a job, a career and a calling/vocation.
A calling/vocation is something you have to listen for. It is not so much about pursuing a goal but it is listening for God’s voice.
1 Peter 4:10 New International Version (NIV)
10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others,as faithfulstewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
Example: My vocation or calling is to help spread the gospel. It doesn’t matter if I am a doctor, a pastor, a blogger or a janitor. If it is my vocation, I will find a way to do what I am called to do.
A great example I could think of is Lito, a missionary to Afghanistan. Lito is a driver who felt called by God to be a missionary to Afghanistan. Not an easy calling. On his way to becoming a missionary (vocation), God had to bring him to jobs he might not like at first ( driver of a church, messenger of the church which was his job). But after many years working for the church, he felt it was time to be trained as a missionary. Lito is now one of our most fruitful missionaries on the field.
A CAREER is a path where you work. Having a career doesn’t automatically mean you are in your vocation. That is why you see people change careers. A career is a line of work but not the only way to fulfill your calling.
Example: Your calling is to help alleviate poverty. You could either be in an NGO work, a medical missions doctor/ doctors to the barrios, politician or a teacher. But I know others who are not in a career that is not directly tied up to their vocation but they are still able to do what they are called to do.
Example: A janitor might have a calling to reduce suffering in the world. He cannot do so directly by mopping the floor but he would take time after work to volunteer in a hospital to take care of dying kids.
A JOB is what we do as we work. It is the most specific and immediate of the three terms. It is our daily activity that produces our income. You could be a pastor, a stock market broker, a call center agent or a teacher. Jobs can come and go but it should not stop you from fulfilling your calling.
Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life – Confucius.
In Thomas Stanley’s book “The Millionaire Mind (Millionaire Set)“, the one characteristic the millionaires had in common was that “they were all doing something they loved. If you love what you are doing, chances are excellent that you will succeed.”