I've written about this book and even this specific quote many times before, as this phrase came into my own life at a time I was wrestling with my own calling or vocational purpose. When I'm in the midst of confusion and worry over the course of where my vocational process may or may not be heading, I find myself returning to this well loved phrase in order to help find a center space where I cans see progress and hope in the process that is vocational discernment
“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
(Note: This quote was not originate with Mr. Palmer, but he uses the statement that originates with Fredrick Buechner's little book Wishful thinking: A Seeker's ABC's as a means of telling his own story concerning vocational wrestling.)
Both Palmer's and Buecher's book have been great clarifying companions in the midst of my own heady ongoing process of clarifying vocational direction. These books - and authors - have been faithful to helping me live into the vocational labyrinth that so many of us think we are only wandering in. But the truth is...to borrow from another famous quote from Tolkien...not all who wander are lost
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We all hope we have made the right choice in regards to the work we have chosen.
Sometimes what we work at does the job of putting bread on the table and a roof over our heads.
Sometimes the work is a vocation that seems to choose us - and we find more than bread and head covering in what we do.
But from the September 6th excerpt of Simple Abundance states...
"No matter what form our job takes, the content is the same as everyone else's; we are here to minister to human hearts. If we talk to anyone, the we have an opportunity to bring more love into the universe. From a waitress to the head of a movie studio, from an elevator operator to the president of a nation, there is no one whose job is unimportant to God", and so Sarah Ban Breathnach continues..."no matter what our present circumstances, is to discover the work we would love to do. But until we do, we need to learn to love the work we're presently doing."
Once again the world's deep need and our deep joy meet and call us to pay attention. Vocation and work can be a joy. For those longing to experience this vocational joy, I pray you have the time and space to find it. For those in a bad work environment, I pray for strength and a way out as well as the ability to hold on knowing God thinks what you already doing is important.
Your work is important.
Your work matters.
Your work will someday be the deep vocational joy that meets the world's deep need... one eight hour shift at a time.
Peace laborers - it's time to take a break.
You've done and honest day's work.
Until tomorrow here are some more borrowed words to give you hope...
“All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.” ― Julian of Norwich