Monday, October 10, 2011

I don't have a job

A vocation is one's calling in life, especially something that requires great skill.

An avocation is a hobby -the derivation is Latin, "a calling away."

"Job" and "vocation" are not interchangeable.  One may sometimes need a vacation from a job, but one never needs a vacation from their vocation.

I am sorry to hear people tell me that they don't like what they do "for a living."  This circumstance is an inverted one - 180 degrees different than the ideal.  The professional life of such people has become an "avocation."  They are being called away from what they truly want to do so that they may trade their time (which is infinitely valuable, yet subject to instant depreciation) for money.

This is why working for a church is such a unique joy.  There is a certain simplicity involved in the knowledge that one isn't working for money or career advancement, but strictly for the love of what is being produced.  I believe that this may explain why the average tenure of a staff member far exceeds the national average for length of time at a job.

I've heard donors describe the fact that they, too, get a similar feeling from making donations.  In these cases, they get to experience the joy of working as a staff member for a greater cause.  Although they may be building houses, neutering cats or filling cavities, they yet have an opportunity to work for something greater in those moments - they get to work for humanity.  And as Martin Luther King Jr. said, "All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence."

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