I am convinced that each of us is created by our Heavenly Father to crave purpose, significance and to pursue something greater than ourselves.
I think this is a universal — and really good — longing of the soul.
We might consider this our greater VOCATION.
Throughout church history, VOCATION has meant far more than just job. It is about calling.
- First, we are called to a relationship with our Creator. That is our primary vocation. (Discipleship)
- Second, we are called to love God with all of our hearts, minds, souls and being… Celebration. (Worship)
- Third, we are called to relationships with others… Community. (Fellowship)
- Fourth, we are called to love and serve each other… Great Commandment. (Ministry)
- Fifth, if we are followers of Christ, we are called to be Ambassadors for Him… Great Commission. (Mission)
These are things that — I believe — every person is called to. Our universal VOCATION… our primary purposes.
But beyond that, we all have a need for specific VOCATION… a specific place where we invest in that which is greater than ourselves and experience significance.
I have noticed that such focus tends to come in one of three areas:
- Ordained Ministry
Some people find this kind of vocation through the religious life, that is ordained ministry (or, if not formally ordained, through recognized ministry). Others, through their jobs — whether teachers, doctors, engineers, lawyers, etc, etc. And others through family — marriage and children. Many, through a combination of all three.
As I have been doing some self-reflection, I realized I need to focus on this sense of vocation.
For most of my adult life, ORDAINED MINISTRY was my vocation and primary outlet for investing in something greater than myself. I was blessed to get to do this as my job. In many respects, my passion and commitment to ministry made the desire/need for my own family — spouse and children — unnecessary.
In the coming season of life, I need to redefine where I will focus and invest.
Perhaps it is a plan to re-enter ordained ministry. That is a possibility. But if not, then it seems like a need a job that is about more than just a paycheck. Or if that kind of significance does not come from a job, it will need to come from family — a partner, children, etc.
This, of course, is not an either-or scenario. One can be in volunteer ministry, have a job that is significant, and raise a family. But you need at least one of those.
I don’t know (yet) what direction God will call me (and all vocation is calling). I think it is very possible that God will call me back into full time vocational ministry — and for those who have been reading this blog for the past 18 months will know that this is a change for me. I am now very open to such a calling again. And maybe God will call me into a career as a chef that is significant… my dream job would be either working as a chef at a soup kitchen or training at-risk youth in culinary arts. And maybe God will call me into the vocation of marriage, adopting children, and raising a family. And maybe he will call me into all three.
But this I know, HE WILL CALL AGAIN.
And when He calls, I will respond: HERE I AM, LORD. SEND ME.