Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sacred Vocations

As Moses marveled incredulously at the burning bush in the wilderness, God spoke to him. Imagine, Moses actually heard the voice of the omnipotent, omniscient, all sovereign God Himself, and quite understandably, the prophet would never be the same. God had spoken and Moses would obey.

It is not difficult, based on this and other similar stories from the Bible of God’s direct interactions with specific individuals, to derive the notion that God is only concerned with the pursuits of those who are engaged in full-time service (i.e. preachers and missionaries), and that He doesn’t waste His time on the more mundane activities of your “average, everyday Christian”. But nothing could be further from the truth. God is interested in each and every one of us. We are, after all, made in His image, and He does intend for each of us to have a purpose in life to fulfill to His glory, whether it be as a preacher or as a farmer.

On that note, I’ve heard the story of a farmer who left it all one day to go to seminary and become a minister. Shortly after he began his studies, he realized it was going to be a real struggle. Grades down and growing discouraged, he went to see the Dean. The Dean asked him what had motivated him to decide to leave farming and become a minister. He responded “I was in the field one day and had a vision. Two clouds in the sky had formed the initials P.C. I took it as a sign that God was telling me to “preach Christ”, so off to school I went”. The Dean told him that being a farmer was just as important as being a preacher. He then said “Did you ever think that perhaps the initials in the sky meant “plow corn”?

We were designed to work (see Genesis 2:15 if you doubt this!), to take dominion over all areas of the life we have been given, and commanded to be good and faithful stewards. Directly in keeping with this mandate, what we do for a livelihood should be done in earnest. These words from the essay “Why Work?” by Dorothy Sayers seem most appropriate:

"I ask that [work] should be looked upon—not as a necessary drudgery to be undergone for the purpose of making money, but as a way of life in which the nature of man should find its proper exercise and delight and so fulfill itself to the glory of God. That it should, in fact, be thought of as a creative activity undertaken for the love of the work itself; and that man, made in God’s image, should make things, as God makes them, for the sake of doing well a thing that is well worth doing."

Regardless of our life’s vocation, every Christian should be of the mind that all ground is sacred ground. Whether a doctor, a lawyer, and yes, a farmer or a preacher, all these when performed with the proper motivation, are sacred to God.

See ya Sunday!

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