Monday, September 6, 2010
Vocation is God serving others through us.
There has never been a year of my ministry when some man I meet breaks the ice by commenting how nice it must be to work one hour a week. I know its just friendly banter, but vocation is serious business, as is calling. I would however, in thinking of the millions of under and unemployed tell you I would do anything to keep bread on the table...and I have. Here are a list of jobs that helped me qualify for social security even though my pastoral salary does not pay into the system.
I start at age 13. Lawn moving business built to 20 clients, Grocery boy, Lifeguard for 7 years, maintenance worker at college and seminary 7 years,Truck repair shop for my Dad, insurance salesmen for six years over several decades, bus driver, landscape maintenance worker, newspaper route for 3 years.
During one rather desperate year I cleaned up the automotive repair department of a Sears Store, tossing tires and cleaning oil from the bays. That was a "God help me" week.
I paid for four years of college and three years of graduate school, and a year of practical ministry to become ordained. I tend to work best with a messy desk and the pressure of deadlines, inspiration hits me late as night, in the middle of the night, early in the morning, and I read and study and think, visit the sick, and hopefully am available to go to breakfast, lunch, or sit on any ones couch who asks.
We are saved by grace, not by works, lest any man should boast, we are doing the works God prepared for us to do, yet, like Paul, I labored to be used of God....and to stand in the pulpit with something to say, with passion and conviction...even if it only came together in my mind and heart in the middle of the night.
Have a blessed labor day, and work is a blessing to us all.