Some people squirm at the mention of the word "vocation." (Not to be confused with vacation – how could anyone be uncomfortable with a vacation?) Some people equate it with the word "calling," which usually implies some sort of religious component. Some people picture chains when they think of the word. They avoid thinking about "vocation" because it means being locked into something for the rest of their lives. I think vocation is something different than that.
I prefer this definition: Activity pursued as a livelihood. It says nothing about work. It doesn’t mention a job. It is broader, more encompassing. Even the word livelihood can have a broader definition than the more narrow view that it is a means for support or sustenance. To really live, to have a thriving "livelihood," humans need much more than money. We need purpose, we need human interaction, we need support. If we take vocation at its broader meaning, it can start to provide for these other needs.
I’ve learned recently that a vocation goes beyond even that which we feel we were made to do. Vocation includes the bad things too. It is the mundane along with the exciting. It is the exhausting along with the energizing. Logan Pearsall Smith said, "The test of a vocation is the love of the drudgery it involves.” Are you unhappy at your job? Perhaps a change of perspective would help. Or perhaps you don’t feel you are fulfilling your vocation.
So here is the key question: What does vocation look like for you?
This is a guest post by Steve Krager.
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