Whether you knew it or not the number one question you’ve been asked since being birthed into this world is one of vocation. Think about it, after meeting someone for the first time what is typically the follow up question? ”What do you do?” I was telling this to some high school students recently and I had the opportunity to get their thoughts on why this might be. One of the students quickly chimed in by saying, “We’re trying to relate.” How true that is. We’re trying to find an equal footing on which we can relate. We need an identifier, something that gives us both an identity that will hopefully propel the conversation further. Vocation is many times defined as one’s career, something that most can “relate to.”
I had an awesome opportunity, one I was truly thankful for, at EverGreen Ministries the other day. I invited some of my friends from all various vocations to come and have a meeting around our giant birch table to discuss life in the Kingdom of God. The variety of represented vocations were plentiful; a police detective, college student, cosmetologist, insurance adjuster, stay at home mother, teacher, a business manager, and someone who is still really searching for their career = me. We went around the table sharing our stories about living for Christ within our workplace, both the struggles and the blessings. Some people felt passionate about their current jobs while others struggled to find joy at times in their current positions. Either way, each of us were encouraged by one another and I couldn’t help but think that all of us would be much healthier if these conversations took place more often.
Vocations are usually thought of as jobs. Jobs seem to be that thing which we so badly want to identify ourselves with. The problem is as I sat at the tables listening to the years of wisdom being passed around the table, two particular themes came up. No, it wasn’t the importance of interrogation or the skill set needed in order to tell if people had set their own house on fire, of course it wasn’t any of those things. The two most important themes woven throughout our conversations and stories were that of “character” and “relationships.” The mother and college student reminded us that we need to live well for Christ in the places where he has called us today, even if it isn’t our ideal position. The business manager reminded us that even if the world around us rejects Christ, people are always looking at the way His followers live. The police detective reminded us that we need to have wise people speaking into our lives no matter what job you have. All of us kept reminding one another of the importance of our character and of our call to serve and love one another. I firmly believe, even more so after leaving the table that day, that our vocation is first and foremost to be representatives of Christ no matter what place or position we are in. Our identity is to be found in Christ, I’m a Christ follower over everything else. This means that I should long to represent Him well (character) by loving and serving the world around me (relationships)…even at cemetery, I mean seminary. I’m thankful for friends who gave of their time to help us all be a little more thoughtful in the way we go about our weeks.