The last few months have been extremely busy. Work has taken much of my attention but I have enjoyed every moment of it. The majority of us spends over 60 hours a week at work. So, it’s only logical that we should immerse ourselves in activities that we love and enjoy. I blogged about it recently by recognizing work as a form of worship. Never has this been more true in my life than now. Even though my career path hasn’t always reflected a pursuit for the work I love, it remains clear that success follows passion and not the other way around.
I was reminded of this simple concept recently when rearranging some of my books and came across 48 Days to the Work you Love by Dan Miller. A few years ago a friend encouraged me to find a new job that would better fit my gifts and skills. He presented me with this book after we shared some conversations regarding my passions and a desire for more fulfilling work. Ultimately, this book reminded me of some of my childhood dreams. I think that is what happens when we meditate on our calling – the purest of thoughts flow gently with no regard to the worries of this life. There are no impossibles, just opportunities ahead. I miss the simplicity of my childhood dreams.
Occupation versus Vocation
What if work was more than just what we have to do, and instead became what we get to do? What if our work didn’t feel like work at all? That is the difference between occupation and vocation. Instead of occupying our time with work that has little meaning, vocation allows us to create a legacy; to hear the voice that tells us who we are and the purpose for our life. Purposeful work is available to us if we just listen for the voice that echoes our passions and skills.
I think that is why Jon Acuff’s books Quitter and Start were so successful. Beyond his awesome writing abilities, he touched on a nerve that resonates with most people. In fact, a recent Gallup pool recognized that 70% of americans hate their jobs. As Acuff would say “That is why we eat at TGI Friday’s and not TGI Mondays.” This is true in other cultures too… even tough we don’t have TGI Friday’s restaurants in Portugal I do remember seeing people more excited at the end of the week instead of the beginning.
Think about it…
What are you passionate about?
What kind of work gets you excited?
What work-related dreams get you thinking?
I experienced this struggle 7 years ago when I knew I was meant for more than what I was doing. I wanted to bring to work every part of me that best glorified God’s gifts in my life. This view of vocation is reflected in 1 Peter 4:10:
Based on the gift they have received, everyone should use it to serve others, as good managers of the varied grace of God.
For me it took volunteering with work related groups and with my church to continue to polish my skills while simultaneously finding fulfillment. I recall that time vividly as it provided the right level of peace even while I still wrestled with wanting more professionally. Recognizing your vocation removes the clutter and complexity of what work should be. For me the voice whispered a passion for communication and relationship building, which I’m now able to utilize every day.
What does work look like for you? Are you currently following your passion? Share in the comments below.