Wednesday, September 9, 2009

More Purpose

This past Sunday our pastor preached a sermon filled with purpose --the timing of which could not have been more appropriate given my last post on meaning and purpose. Specifically, he talked about "work" and the idea of a "calling" to work.

Before the Fall Adam worked in the garden. Thus, work happened even amidst perfection. After the Fall however we are told that work becomes painful and toil isn't always a delight. God had always intended for us to work though, to grow things and be fruitful.

Linked to the action of work is the concept of vocation. We talked about the word vocation (that comes from the Latin word "vocari" when means "calling") and how many of us believe that we do not have a calling --regular people just have jobs. What a misconception! First, we are not regular people, we are a New Creation. Secondly, while it is true that there may be a few people who have vocations others would recognize as going down in the history books as a calling that is not equal to saying, "your position does not matter to the world," or, "Because you're going to fill one of special positions God does not want to fill your life with a calling."

Fundamentally, there is a distorted view of God at the heart of such a line of thinking. Possibly we view God as having scarce resources and only being able to have impact on the world through people who we view as important. For example, we had a really great development economist fly in earlier this year to talk about the condition of Africa. But, as he was about to leave and get on the plane he was somewhat scared to fly, a woman here at FSU told him "[Do not worry], You're not going anywhere. The universe isn't through with you." There was a notion that he was called to do great things. But, I wonder, if she saw herself the same way.

The goodness of God is such that I'm not sure we can even fathom the extent of His calling on our lives.

Finally, whatever we do, we do it to the best of our ability. One of the very best portions of the sermon was the idea that my work (and your work) could be a form of worship. I spend much of my day at work and if I learned to worship God in my work and the way I conduct myself and motivate my life what more purpose, joy, and love could be found!?! There is so much possibility.

No comments: