Saturday, August 05, 2006

wisdom and work

I was talking with someone who trains people to think in terms of work and not job. I picked up from him that he means approaching vocation as something fluid rather than fixed. And that these are the kinds of employees employers want today. My dad worked in one place for forty-three years, and generally stayed at one job there for long periods of time. I generally have stayed at the same job until I had good reason to move on. Things have changed in this day and age. I notice that some people switch jobs where I work, quite often. Work is seen not merely as a job, but as vocation that can be inclusive of many jobs.

I was talking to another person who mentioned what he sees in another country. The people there think only in terms of living from day to day. Thinking ahead or planning is a foreign concept to them. Whereas in our country, it is much more common to see people plan their future, realizing there are many contingencies.

Proverbs has alot of wisdom on this. It is a book that ought to be read and studied by all of us, particularly by young people who are just beginning their work lives. It can help us see the need for counsel, using one's gifts, working hard at it, having balance in life, seeing life in good perspective (including during those times when not all goes well) and living in the fear of the Lord. A book like Ecclesiastes is good too, in giving us some helpful perspectives- knowing what life really is, in a fallen world in which many things are wrong, and do go wrong.

We need to be those who apply wisdom from God in our work and in our lives. That we may see work as part and parcel of our calling from God. And an important expression of who we are. But that we might also realize its limitations because of the Fall.

We also need to see our work in terms of the kingdom of God. How it relates to God's kingdom having come in Jesus. In terms of our gifting, of our call from God, of our own families, and of others that our work, in one way or another, may impact. God's word/Scripture does not seem that concerned about what we are doing as vocation (1 Corinthians 7). But rather that we are doing all for the glory of God. And that we do so as stewards who will give account of our lives and work to God.

What have you learned about wisdom and work? That maybe, as is true in my case, you wish you would have known years ago? Or that you are learning now?

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