The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and to take care of it.
To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it.’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life.”
Each person should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.
—1 Cor. 7:20
Vocation comes from the Latin word ‘vocare’ or ‘voice’ which means to follow ‘the voice of God’, or to do what we’re called to do. Viktor E. Frankl (1905–1997), an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist wrote, “Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life; everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated, thus, everyone’s task is unique as his specific opportunity to implement it.” It should therefore be for us to pursue this divine purpose in life.
A Divine Calling
Wendell Berry (b. 1934), a novelist and environmental activist said, “The old and honourable idea of ‘vocation’ is simply that we each are called, by God, or by our gifts, or by our preference, to a kind of good work for which we are particularly fitted.” This call could take a variety of forms. But what exactly does this mean? A showman and businessman P.T. Barnum (1810-1891) wrote, “Unless a man enters upon the vocation intended for him by nature, and best suited for his particular genius, he cannot succeed. I am glad to believe that the majority of persons do find their right vocation.” We’re reminded in the Scripture people are blessed with a variety of talents. Some of them are great while others small, but it’s for us to use our gift or gifts wisely.
A person could find a worthwhile vocation in the national service. Henri Nouwen (1932–1996), a Dutch Catholic priest said, “Peacemaking is a full-time vocation that includes each member of God’s people.” Rick Warren (b. 1954), an evangelical Christian pastor saw the benefit of military service. He wrote, “Well, in the first place, military service, they don’t call it service for nothing. You are actually serving your country. And it is a worthy and valid vocation.” So a divine calling could take many forms.
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