Thursday, September 26, 2013


Lutheran professor and author Martin Marty described his professional life this way: "I go to work because I have a job that’s part of a career, which is part of a profession that I do because of my vocation that is the shape of my life."  Marty had grasped the big picture, his calling, which put everything else in place.  Somehow the daily tasks required -- in his case, grading papers, lectures, committee meeting, writing, and research -- fit together as rungs of a ladder leading all the way up to vocation, a word taken from the Latin for "calling."  Marty went on to say that a sense of calling may be the most important step for any who seek fulfillment and meaning.

Marty was following the pattern of Martin Luther himself, who saw a potential calling in any kind of work.  "Even dirty and unpleasant work, such as shoveling manure or washing diapers, is pure and holy work if it comes from a pure heart," he said.  Luther urged ordinary folk -- farmers, milkmaids, butchers, and cobblers -- to perform their work as if God Himself was watching.

-- Philip Yancey in Rumors of Another World


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