As a pastor I talk to a lot of people who are unhappy with what they do. In fact, just last night I was talking with a friend at the gym about how they wish they had a job that really mattered. She said, “I just wish I felt like I was making some kind of difference. With all the important issues in this world I feel like I’m spinning my wheels for something that doesn’t really count in the long scheme of things.”
I get that. I think most of us have a drive to want to make a difference. We want our one and only lives to count for something great. And since we spend so much time at work we would like for the difference we make to coincide with what we do for a living.
However, most of us don’t work for a church or a non-profit or anything else that we really believe is impacting our community, much less the world.
I just read a great article from Scot McKnight (I’m quickly becoming a huge fan of this guy) online at Relevant Magazine entitled Finding God’s Will For Your Career. Here’s just a portion of the article where he talks about seeing your vocation, whatever your vocation might be, through the Kingdom Dream.
Your vocation, which in so many ways is unique to you, can genuinely matter if you keep your eyes on the Kingdom of God as your guiding North Star. Teaching matters when you treat your students as humans whom you love and whom you are helping. Coaching soccer matters when you connect kids to the Kingdom. Growing vegetables becomes Kingdom work when we enjoy God’s green world as a gift from Him. Collecting taxes becomes Kingdom work when you treat each person as someone who is made in the image (the Eikon in Greek) of God and as a citizen instead of as a suspect. Jobs become vocations and begin to matter when we connect what we do to God’s Kingdom vision for this world. Sure, there’s scout work involved—like learning English grammar well enough to write clean sentences and reading great writers who can show you how good prose works. Like hours with small children when we are challenged to make some mind-numbing routines into habits of the heart and Kingdom.
It is easy to see missional work in the slums of India as something that matters. Perhaps the desire to do something that matters is why so many of us get involved in missional work like that. But most of us don’t have a vocation like that, and that means most of us do lots of scout work as a matter of routine. We have to believe that the mundane matters to God, and the way to make the mundane matter is to baptize what we do in the Kingdom vision of Jesus.
Are you honestly able to make a connect between what you do for a living and God’s Kingdom?