“A society in which vocation and job are separated for most people gradually creates an economy that is often devoid of spirit, one that frequently fills our pocketbooks at the cost of emptying our souls.”
Vocation and job are sometimes the same. I think, right away, of pastors, who feel they have been called by God to go to seminary. For me, that call was to counseling. I found in my twenties that people much older than I felt they could talk with me about things that were weighing heavily on them. I never understood the "why" of that trust—but it became undeniable that this is what I was called to do. To be sure, there are folks who go into ministry and counseling, who are there for the wrong reasons, but as with medicine, and law enforcement, I think that the majority of people drawn to such professions truly want to be servants. There is nothing quite so reassuring as a doctor or an officer, who treats everyone with respect and compassion.
Conversely, there is nothing quite so distressing as a “servant” who is simply there to make money. A doctor or a counselor, who is mostly concerned about the time on the clock, and the payment of their bill, is someone who is not living from vocation, but is simply working at a job. There is a lack of soul that is palpable in such people. I remember a relative of mine, a Psychiatrist, no less, who actually told me his only interest was “in the double-blues,” that being Blue Cross/Blue Shield. I felt for his patients.
But you don't have to be in a service profession to operate from vocation. Many people who love their work, who wake up excited about what the day holds, are living out their calling. In the words of Viktor Frankl, “Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life; everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment.” That is one's soul-calling—what one is born into this life at this time to do. Whether you're in business, or accounting, work in a laundry, or on an assembly line, if your heart and soul are in what you do, you will be a success at it, and furthermore, you will inspire others. Soprano, Jessye Norman, put it this way, “One needs more than ambition and talent to make a success of anything, really. There must be love and vocation.”
Vocation is soul-inspired and soul-directed. The question for today: What are you called to do? What is your vocation? Are you following it? If not, what needs to happen for you to get there? We are not called simply to make money to enrich ourselves; we are called to fulfill our life's purpose.
In the Spirit,