Whatever You Do

woman_thinking_400It is easy for me to think of certain vocations as holy, and certain types of work as true ministry. If you have certain titles before or after your name, or if your office is under a steeple, I take it as a given that you are doing holy work, and that your work is your true calling. Growing up in a minister’s home, it was easy for me to see that work as sacred. As a teenager and young adult, I struggled with not really feeling a call to the ministry—because to me, that almost seemed as though my calling could not possibly lead to a ministerial life, to a holy and sacred occupation.

Of course now I see clearly that is not true, but there are still days when my work feels mundane and worldly, far from holy and certainly not a calling. I’m sure I would struggle equally (or perhaps moreso) with those concerns if I was on a church staff or had an otherwise “traditional” ministry job, but the challenge for me has been to see my work as a calling, which I truly believe it is, even in the everyday rituals—the checking emails, the returning phone calls, the meetings and trainings and hallway conversations. Currently I’m starting a new job, and the challenge here is to approach it as though it is holy. Is it? I think so—my work deals with people, people who are children of God. I may not quote a Bible verse at the water cooler, or lead a prayer at every meeting (I feel pretty confident professional “ministers” don’t do that either), but my work is holy because God has brought me to it, and God is with me in it.

The verse that immediately comes to mind regarding this subject is 1 Corinthians 10:31, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” Perhaps that wasn’t originally penned as a vocational inspiration, but it serves that purpose. I’ve heard it applied to all sorts of work—to housework and child-rearing, to office jobs and ministerial settings—and I think it applies equally. If we are Christ’s ambassadors, then we are that throughout our lives—at the grocery store, the ballpark, and certainly, the office.

So if you are, as I often am, discouraged and overwhelmed in your work, pray this prayer with me today:

God, who does not clock in or clock out,
God, who does not have a lunch break or a vacation day,
God, who is present in each building and hallway and break room,
Meet us there.
Meet us in our buildings, our hallways, our break rooms.
Let us not become weary in living out our calling, in performing our assigned tasks, in doing our jobs.
May we work as though for you, and know that you are always at work in us.

Photo Credit: Donyale Leslie

Photo Credit: Donyale Leslie

Kimberly McClung DeVries was raised in a minister’s family, first overseas as missionaries and then in Georgia. She attended the University of Georgia to receive a degree in telecommunications, worked briefly in that field, and then went to law school instead, also in Athens. Kimberly is trying to grow by pushing herself out of her comfort zone. To that end, she has two boys, works full time as a lawyer, and is also helping her husband survive his PhD.

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