It is that time of year when some will graduate — with no clue what they want out of life. Hopefully we have provided our children with a love of learning, given them time to develop their interests, talents, and gifts, and provided them with a path to their future. For those still confused God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life by Gene Edward Veith, Jr. may provide some clarity (see Additional Resources below).
It is easy to lose sight of the point of it all. For the Christian, man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. But how do you do that flipping burgers at a fast-food restaurant? But, you see, you do. And that is where God at Work comes in.
He brings people to salvation through pastors and through anyone else who proclaims the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost. The fast-food worker, the inventor; the clerical assistant, the scientist; the accountant, the musician — they all have high callings, used by God to bless and serve His people and His creation.
God at Work begins with a look at what vocation meant through history. How God works through human beings through their vocation. And the purpose of vocation:
“As you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me” (Matt 25:40).
Thus, Christ is hidden in our neighbors, particularly those in need. What motivates Christians to love their neighbors is to see Christ in them. Particular neighbors may not be very loveable, but Christ loves them and died for them, and if they are fellow Christians He indwells them through the same Holy Spirit that we share with them. How could we not love them?
Veith makes the argument that we don’t choose our vocations — we are called to them:
“What do you want to be?” is indeed a good question. But what you are is in many ways a given. Even your wants — your desires, your dreams, your choices — are a function of who you are….
The doctrine of vocation has to do with the mystery of individuality, how God creates each human being to be different from all of the rest and gives each a unique calling in every stage of life. Thus you have particular talents, which you are to understand are His gifts. You have a particular personality, with interests, likes, and dislikes that not everyone shares….
Finding your vocation, then, has to do, in part, with finding your God-given talents (what you can do) and your God-given personality (what fits the person you are).
He then goes on to expand upon our calling and how it appears in life:
- Our calling as a worker.
- Our calling in our families.
- Our calling as a citizen.
- Our calling in the church.
Vocation comes with responsibilities. We each feel those responsibilities through the roles that we play in life. Our vocation gives our life meaning and purpose. At every stage of life we want to be:
leading “the life that the Lord has assigned to [us], and to which God has called [us].”
Great book for your graduate!
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God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life by Gene Edward Veith, Jr.
Also available as an eBook.