Theology of Work

To My Surprise, I Love My Work

In 2013 I was pretty sure I’d never love my work, ever again. I’d served as a full time pastor since 2001, and though I kept some small side jobs going for fun and a little income, I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else as a vocation and finding it satisfying.

That perspective was emotional, not theological. Circumstances led to my leaving ministry, and though I made the decision, I didn’t make it happily. The transition to “a normal job” was dramatic, frightening, and depressing. Being just a bit into middle age at the time, I wrestled with the feeling that my best days were over, and my remaining years were going to be a relatively meaningless glide to the grave.

It didn’t help that my first post-pastoral work opportunity was mindless, repetitive, emotionally draining work (though with unexpectedly good compensation).

At one point, I tried to get into a dispatch job with the Wisconsin State Police. I don’t know how close I came to getting the job, but I’m so thankful now it didn’t pan out. Talk about emotionally draining work! I was not, at the time, fit to be making quick decisions with people’s very lives immediately at stake.

Sometimes grace is a closed door!

I ended up doing work that was far less interesting than dispatch would have been, but it wasn’t going to kill anyone—besides me, very slowly.

So for a while I thought everything I did after pastoring was going to be like that: sufficiently lucrative, but uninteresting, and relatively low skill.

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Virtual Vocation: is being an internet influencer a true vocation, in the Christian sense of that term?

"the intrinsic value of work cannot be reduced to its monetary value. Farmers, factory workers, the people who pick up our garbage, and others who perform services vital to our physical existence are doing far more important tasks than celebrities...and yet they are paid far, far less." - Veith

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