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lent 3 2015: work (and vocation)

"lent 3, 2015: work"
mixed media collage (tissue paper, acrylic paint, wallpaper glue, gel medium, found nail on stretched canvas)
march, 2015
gregory a. milinovich

this week in church we talked about work.  well, actually, we talked about how work is a poor substitute for vocation.  i can barely use the word without thinking of frederick buechner, whose ideas on the subject have always spoken right to the very center of my being.  buechner says that vocation is that place where your unique gifts and passions intersect with the world's greatest needs.  where those things overlap, that's your vocation; that's the place where God is calling you to give freely of your giftedness.  to serve.  to offer.  to bless.

james and john wanted some payback for their work.  they had given up everything to follow Jesus, including their comforts and their pension.  they really just wanted some return on their investment.  and so they talked to Jesus about it.  about honor.  about what retirement might look like.  about greatness.  and Jesus famously responded to them that if they really wanted to be great they would become a servant to everybody.  he's not talking about being miserable.

he's talking about being yourself . he's talking about truly offering the gifts and talents and passions and dreams and hopes that are latent and growing and dying-to-get-out in you, and sharing them with people who need them.  it doesn't have to be preaching and teaching, although it could be.  it could also be plumbing.  baking.  driving.  writing.  visiting.  building.  listening.  it could be a million different things.  but it only leads to real, abundant, overflowing life when we give it away to those who need it.

learning to live like this - like ones who are willing to give ourselves to others in service - is a huge step on the journey to hope.


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