Vocations

In doing research for a Bible study, I ran across this passage about a man named Epaphroditus, whom St. Paul calls “my brother, co-worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs” (Philippians 2:25). Now that’s a lot of jobs for one person!

But it make me think that we have a lot of jobs too in our lives—jobs that are not exclusively related to our profession or paid occupation. We call these many callings in various aspects of our lives vocations.

vocationThe idea of vocation is central to the Christian belief that God has created each person with gifts and talents oriented toward specific purposes and a way of life.

So when I think about my vocations, my callings from God, I consider my role as a editor of religious writing, a Bible study leader, a work colleague, a son, a brother, an uncle, a nephew, a cousin and a friend.

When I think about each of these roles, I am amazed by the number of people I am connected to and the abilities God has granted me be a blessing to those around me.

When I look at these roles as my callings from God, they take on greater significance. I am prompted to consider ways in which I can be more loving and caring to the people I work with. I am more aware of the influence my words and actions have on the impressionable minds of my nieces and nephews. I have a greater sense of responsibility to be salt and light in this world to my fellow believers.

No matter how minor or insignificant they may seem, our actions have influence on others and on the world at large. And no vocation is more valuable than another. Every vocation has significance and has merit.

Martin Luther calls each of our vocations “the masks of God,” behind which he wants to do all things. For instance, God is milking the cows through the vocation of the milkmaid, Luther said. We see the milkmaid, or the farmer, or the doctor or pastor or artist. But, looming behind this human mask, Luther says, God is genuinely present and active in what they do for us. Thus every job, every activity becomes sacred.

We look at life differently when we see it through the eyes of the vocations that each one of us has. We become grateful for the people around us who do work of any capacity. And every act that takes place becomes a reason to give glory to God, who is behind each effort.

As the Bible says,

“Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

So don’t ever think what you are doing day to day doesn’t matter. It all matters in the grand scheme of God’s plan of vocation for you and he is doing great things through you.

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