Even a humdrum job can be a humble calling | Worship

By Pastor Mark Smith | Mukilteo Presbyterian Church | May 10, 2017

When you think about your daily work – whatever it may be – are you holding down a job or are you living out a calling? The distinction is critically important.

For many people, their work is simply a job – essentially a means to make a living. It’s something you have to do in order to pay your bills and feed the family.

At best, it is something of a burden to be borne or a duty to fulfill; “I owe, I owe, it’s off to work I go.” At worse, work is a punishment to undergo.

Some people just hate their jobs and live only for the weekends. It is all they can do to get to Friday. They dread Monday mornings. They find their work monotonous and boring, devoid of meaning and purpose. When you consider that the average person spends more than a third of his or her life working – 200,000 hours – that’s a tragic state of affairs.

It would make a huge difference in our work-life if we would make a conscious effort to view our work in a new light and understand that what we do is not just a job, but rather a calling from God. When we think of a “calling,” we often think of clergy who have special, sacred work to do.

The fact is our work, no matter how humble or humdrum, is a call from God to serve him in the workplace by serving others. When we grasp that truth, our attitude and outlook changes dramatically for the better.

An accountant in a great oil company was bored with his work, touchy and irritable in the office and at home. Then on Sunday as he sat in church, he heard the words, “How does your work benefit God’s people?”

The next day at lunch, he discussed this question with a colleague. Suddenly, they began to see how the oil company was helping to heat millions of homes, and to power millions of cars, trucks and planes. They began to think of the blessing they were bringing to millions of people.

Suddenly, his work with long lists of figures took on a new importance. He went back to his desk with a new excitement. He saw his work as contributing to the comfort and well being of humanity, making the world a better place.

All of a sudden, he didn’t just have a job anymore – he had a calling. It made a huge difference in his outlook and attitude and productivity.

What if a Boeing worker saw his or her specialized work as a higher calling to produce the world’s greatest airplanes that enable the human family to more easily connect with one another and do so in safety and comfort? Bringing people together is God’s work, is it not?

What if a truck driver views his work not as simply hauling goods in order to make a buck, but as a calling to carry needed goods across the country that will enhance the lives of thousands?

What if a janitor viewed work not simply as sweeping the floor for an hourly wage, but rather as a ministry of beautification, making a building a more pleasant place for all who live in it, lifting the spirits of all who enter?

If you and I can make those points of connection between what we do and God’s larger purposes, it will change us, giving us a whole new outlook on daily work, no matter how mundane.

Your work is a calling and a gift from God. Think of it. Through daily work, we show love for our neighbors by producing goods and services that people must have in order to survive and that society needs in order to thrive.

Through work, we not only provide for our families, but we earn money that can be given to the poor and to the needy and to causes that we care about, extending God’s love, pursuing justice and righteousness.

Why put up with just a job when you can live out a calling?

 

Mark Smith is the senior pastor of Mukilteo Presbyterian Church. The church is at 4514 84th Street SW in Mukilteo. For more information, visit www.mpclife.com.

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