For today’s Guest Post Wednesday, we’re recycling a thoughtful post by Thomas Turner, of Everyday Liturgy fame. Thomas teaches at Nyack, serves as a senior editor and publisher of GENERATE magazine, is a lay leader in his church, as well as a husband and a dad, and writes for a bunch of cool places. Here he reflects on the interconnectedness of joy, work, and being in community.
Each day, when Garrison Keillor has finished with the daily poem on The Writer’s Almanac broadcast, he says the words “Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.”
In a nutshell, what Keillor is doing is giving his definition of vocation to his daily listeners. The purpose of our lives, in Keillor’s mind, is to delight, do work, and be in community.
This threefold view of vocation is a powerful reminder of how all of these things are intertwined.
Our delight should be in our work.
Our work should build community.
Our community should be delightful.
Our community comes through hard work.
Our work should give us delight.
Our delight leads us to invite others into community.
This definition of vocation is a holistic approach to our work. When we pray to God “establish the work of our hands” or “build our community” or “make us happy” these are all good things. Pushing deeper though, we should begin to see how these separate thoughts should be intertwined in our spiritual lives and practice, informing one another and spiraling forth into a truer sense of our personal and corporate vocation.