The word “vocation” is a little outdated; we don’t seem to use it much anymore. I like it, though, when I’m trying to explain the idea of calling and where it came from.
When we hear the word “vocation” we usually think of a job. If someone asked, “what is your vocation?” You would probably answer by telling them what you do for a living. I’m a dental hygienist… I’m a teacher… I work for the bank.
But the word has a fuller meaning than that. It carries with it the idea of suitability or aptitude; your vocation is something that you are particularly suited to do. It may or may not be a paying job, but it is the kind of job that you are “made for.”
The word “vocation” also implies dedication and commitment. It’s not just a job; it’s something worthy that you give your life to. In the 15th century it began to carry the idea of a spiritual profession. If you had a “vocation,” then you worked for the church.
“Vocation” comes from the Latin vocare, which means “to call.” So “vocation” is simply another word for calling. Historically, we reserved the word calling for those called to the ministry: pastors, preachers, and the like.
But as we saw on Day 2, we are all called. We all have a calling. A vocation. Something meaningful that’s worth giving our lives to. A unique contribution to what God is doing in our world.
Frederick Buechner defines “vocation” as “the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” In other words, whatever makes you happy is what God will use to change the world.
We started talking about what makes you happy yesterday, and now we’re going to take it a little further. For the next few days, we are going to dive into the idea of your deep gladness. Let’s see what God has placed within you that he wants to use in the lives of the people around you. Let’s see what you’re particularly suited for.
Let’s see if we can find something worthy enough to give your life to…
Daily Journal Question: What is your deep gladness? As a first step to answer that question, take a few minutes and make a list of everything you enjoy. Don’t edit or think about it too much! Just make a crazy fun list of everything you can think of that makes you glad.
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