A 2013 Gallup poll on workplace engagement found that only 13% of employees worldwide are psychologically committed to their jobs. The majority of employees (63%) fall into the “not engaged” category.
Why is that?
In too many places, jobs are so scarce that people will take anything just to survive, even if it doesn’t bring much fulfillment. Being able to find meaningful work is a luxury. But I also wonder if part of the issue goes beyond what we do from 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Such disengagement may stem from not being in tune with our broader callings.
In “A Life at Work: The Joy of Discovering What You Were Born to Do,” Thomas Moore defines calling as “a sensation or intuition that life wants something from you” (17). Life wants something – but what?! Should I go back to school? Should I get a job as a painter or a dentist? Am I feeling pulled towards married life or might my gifts be better suited in a religious community? What if many options feel right in my heart? What if none of them do?
Making sense of our callings isn’t always easy. There are so many questions, so many different directions we could turn. Often, there are conflicting feelings, too.
I see this web of callings represented in the Sower and the Seed illumination. I like to think of each seed as one of our callings. Blue jean-clad Jesus is tossing out quite a few seeds on these pages! The Labor Day holiday offers a good time to reflect on the seeds Jesus is planting in our own lives.
- Are we taking the time to tend to and reflect on our callings — all of them?
- Which callings bring us the most joy — callings to careers, relationships and ways of living?
- Which callings planted in rocky soil may be time to let go of?
- How are we glorifying God through our callings?
Jessie Bazan is a Master of Divinity candidate at Saint John’s School of Theology-Seminary and serves as the Seeing the Word graduate assistant.
© Sower and the Seed, Donald Jackson and Aidan Hart with contributions from Sally Mae Joseph, 2002 The Saint John’s Bible, Order of Saint Benedict, Collegeville, Minnesota.