garbage truck 6 months before I got married, I was faced with a dilemma. In a few short months, I would no longer be only responsible for my own well being, but I would also be given the responsibility to take care of my soon-to-be-wife. I would not be just son and student, but I would become husband. And that meant I needed to make enough money to give us a place to live; and health insurance would’ve been nice too.

I had been planning for most of college to end up as a youth pastor, but 6 moths before marriage I still didn’t have a job doing youth ministry. But I did have an opportunity to work as a garbage man. So I was faced with a dilemma; I felt like God had gifted me to do student ministry, but I also knew God had given me the responsibility to fulfill my future vocation of husband by being a good provider. Because of my calling to be a husband, I knew that it might actually mean that I was also being called to be a garbage man.

Trash, really? God’s calling.

When is the last time you talked to a barista who you felt was called by God to serve you the best coffee they could make? When was the last time you tucked your kids into bed realizing the magnitude of the calling that you have as you pray and listen to them? As soon as we start talking about “calling,” we immediately start separating the sacred and the secular. Pastors are called; church-workers are called, but what about the employees flipping burgers at the corner McDonald’s?

Vocation literally means “calling.” From the time we are little we are asked the question, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” And then as we enter college, we are faced with the pressure that we need to decide a career and hope that it lines up with God’s will.  If vocation means “calling” then we are not the ones doing the work, God is. We don’t decide our vocations, we discover them. God has put you exactly where you are; that’s your vocation. You are called to love God and love others in the place that you are. That doesn’t mean that you no longer care about future goals and dreams, but it also means that right now is important.  How do you love your family now?  How do you serve your employer now?  How do you relate to your neighborhood now?  How do you interact with teachers today?

The danger for Christians is that it is very easy to fall into the trap of elevating God’s calling in certain situations while minimizing God’s calling in others. It’s easy to lift up pastors and preachers, but what about the assembly line workers? The stay-at-home-moms? The cashier at the local Starbucks? Luther said, “Every occupation has its own honor before God, as well as its own requirements and duties.”

You are here.  You are here with all of your gifts, with your personality, with your unique way of looking at the world, with all of your talents because God wants you here.  You are here in your neighborhood, in your job, in your school, in your family because God has placed you there.

Where are you?

Photo Credit: Jimloter