What do you do?

Just a quick post before I head off to work. I love this definition of vocation by Frederick Buechner. Let me tell you something: I was never any good at street evangelism and I hated it with a passion, but I am a top-notch nanny and I find so much joy in it. And I love to write, and I think I am becoming a good writer. Where do you find joy? And where does the world need you?


IT COMES FROM the Latin vocare, to call, and means the work a man [or woman] is called to by God. There are all different kinds of voices calling you to all different kinds of work, and the problem is to find out which is the voice of God rather than of Society, say, or the Super-ego, or Self-interest. By and large a good rule for finding out is this. The kind of work God usually calls you to is the kind of work (a) that you need most to do and (b) that the world most needs to have done. If you really get a kick out of your work, you’ve presumably met requirement (a), but if your work is writing TV deodorant commercials, the chances are you’ve missed requirement (b). On the other hand, if your work is being a doctor in a leper colony, you have probably met requirement (b), but if most of the time you’re bored and depressed by it, the chances are you have not only bypassed (a) but probably aren’t helping your patients much either.

Neither the hair shirt nor the soft berth will do. The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.

– Originally published in Wishful Thinking


4 comments on “What do you do?

  1. Juanita says:

    I feel like that’s where I am right now, totally fulfilling requirement b (I am an elderly companion for a women with dementia), but it doesn’t fulfill me. It can feel rather boring and tedious. But when I worked as a camp counselor, I felt a bit of a and b, it just not realistic to do that forever. But I hold on to my love of caring for teens and writing, hopefully I’ll find my calling.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Suzy Sims says:

    My husband and I rescue dogs in our small community and find them new, better homes. We also foster and train for Shepherds for Lost Sheep. org. We do service dogs for Veterans. I love dogs, love having them around, love their company. I was saved from drowning by my own service dog when I had a seizure while swimming. She was trying to tell me the seizure was coming and I didn’t listen. Coco is turning 15 this September. While the torch has passed to Miss Sassy Pants (one of our rescues I couldn’t part with), Coco still keeps her eye on me. Some of our rescues have become service dogs, some are just great pets. We don’t get paid to do this. In fact we spend our own money on a lot of the food and medical care. I have 2 other jobs and I enjoy both of them – all service/sales jobs. I don’t make the kind of money I wish I did, but who knows it could still happen. Until then I will keep loving my dogs, and helping out where I can. We have a Veteran coming in this weekend to start a 10 day training program with our latest girl. Athena is such a sweet and goofy dog that has the innate sense of a service animal. I have 2 puppies in training, so I get the puppy breath! And of course the early morning outings and cleaning up the ‘accidents’. I miss having all of my kids home so have just transferred that to the dogs! I find Joy daily in the love of my husband, children, friends and pets. I find Joy watching our new bees happily buzzing around our woods. I find Joy in the clear, cold stream while the dogs swim and play. I find Joy in settling into bed with all of the warm pups surrounding me in their love and protection. Most of all I find Joy in having found a greater purpose to serve my Lord in my own small way each day.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ajummama says:

    i love this topic so much. will read closely when i am not trying to walk out the apt in a rush. i just wrote about something related. consolations and desolations. bye for now.


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