Friday, January 2, 2009

Vocational Calling - C.J. Mahaney

My family and I were recently talking about the sacredness of God’s calling in all vocations of life. Today I came across this blog posting entitled "Roles" by C.J Mahaney. This is just an excerpt; to read the whole posting Click Here.

It’s not hard for us to imagine that pastors and church planters are called by God. This is clear to us throughout Scripture. So when we come across the first verse in Romans, where Paul says he was “called to be an apostle” (ESV), we have no problem with this.

But what about the rest of us? What about a stay-at-home mom with two kids? What about an auto mechanic? How about a real estate agent and a business owner? Has God called them? What about you? Are you aware of being called by God to a particular task?

Disagreements over a “theology of work” are common throughout church history. In fact (I was just told) the Middle Ages was marked by a stiff distinction between sacred and secular work. Pastors and church leaders were considered called; laborers were not so called. One is sacred; one is secular.

Then along came a Reformation. Not only did the Reformers make a giant stride by viewing “secular” work as a calling from God, they took a second step and broadened this calling to include not only work but also vocation.

Leland Ryken writes in his book Redeeming the Time (Baker, 1995), “The early Protestants rightly conceived of our callings as being much broader than our job. All of our roles in life are callings. Being a spouse, a parent, a church member, a neighbor, and a Christian are all callings” (p. 151).

By this, the Reformers introduced an understanding of God’s sovereignty that included all of life—every vocation, every detail, every moment.

Today it appears that many Christians aren’t clear on their work as calling. Christians are normally clear that we should live out the Christian ethic in the workplace. But the Reformers were calling for something bigger. . . .

But how can I be certain of my own calling? How can I know I am in the right job? Am I in the proper career path? What about where God wants me in the future? How do I determine God’s intended vocation(s) for my life? . . .

It may be that our vocation is not clear because we have not started with these two questions:
Where has God placed me? Where am I positioned to serve others?

Take a moment to look down at your feet. Go ahead, look. For most of us, our feet are currently resting within the geographic circle of God’s calling on our lives. In the future God may call you outside that circle. But that is for another time.

I fear too many Christians are so distracted by thoughts of the future that they cannot discern with clarity how God has called them to serve in their present vocations. Though they show up for work each day, they don’t work with passion and joy each day.

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