As we listen closely for the voice of The Caller, we begin to understand our calling in this world.
First and foremost, our primary calling is to be known & loved by Christ. Without this core identity, our secondary work or callings we pursue (even the best, most fulfilling jobs, etc.) will not deeply satisfy, nor will we be able to make clear sense of our purpose.
As Jeff Haanen of Denver Institute for Faith & Work writes, “Kate Harris of The Washington Institute for Faith, Vocation & Culture has aptly pointed out that in today’s culture, the word vocation has been twisted from its original meaning of living one’s entire life in response to the call of God. Instead, for many it refers to an ideal job, one that forever seems over the rainbow. In my own experiences in Denver, I’ve found this to be the case as well. Mentioning the word vocation elicits a range of responses, mostly involving: “I feel called to…” or “I don’t feel called to…” The emphasis is on our personal feelings, self-fulfillment, and career preferences, not necessarily on hearing and obeying the voice of God.”
However, when we begin to live out of our true selves—our whole lives in response to God’s call—something amazing happens: we become artisans of hope.
No matter where we find our secondary callings lead us (to offices, homes, campuses, and the ends of the earth), our lives and our work point others to enduring hope, true purpose, and a love that changes everything. The beloved of God craft, in the very work of our hands (even if overlooked or unacknowledged by others), some glimpse of the very real Kingdom—now among us, not yet fulfilled.
Author David Dark writes:
Artisans of hopefulness, mostly anonymous and unremembered, have long lived and loved and extended hospitality beyond the legal fictions of so-called sovereigns and nation-states. Prophets and poets have announced a wider economy of human meaning than power mongers can afford by questioning the dark yesterdays of official histories in the name of brighter tomorrows. Jesus insisted that this wider economy is coming and is already among us, ever ancient, ever new.
When we sense its movement, we allow ourselves to be moved by it. The question of caretaking begins to inform our doing and speaking and spending. We take care differently and gird ourselves with a mindfulness and begin to outnarrate the murderous and plundering powers that know not what they do.
Such determined mindfulness has a way of changing everything. Resurrection happens.