Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The ABC’s of Discernment: Q is for Quest

Most, if not all, humans share some common territory. We live somewhere. We interact with other people. We have a personality and a past.

We also have quest, something we do, something we live for, something we are deeply passionate about. This quest usually takes the form of our vocation and/or occupation.

Our occupation is what we do “for a living,” the work which earns us the money we need to survive. There are exceptions, of course, to this board definition. The full-time student and stay-at-home parent come to mind. However, each of us do something, a job which occupies most of our time.

As Christians, we also have a vocation, or what we more often refer to as our calling. This is the personal mission for which God has gifted you and me to fulfill. Now sometimes your vocation and occupation are one and the same; think missionary or pastor. However, most of us work a vocation side-by-side with our occupation or even completely separate from it. A nurse (occupation) may have the vocation of writing notes of encouragement to her patients. A lawyer (occupation) may have a passion for teaching apologetics to teens (vocation).

No matter our occupation or vocation, they each impact our view of the world. Thus they too influence our discernment’s development. Just like with experience, they can open some doors to us and close others. A paramedic’s occupation may enable him or her to view more violent films, but it can also dull compassion for others’ suffering. People with a vocation of giving may have to guard against using their money to manipulate others, but may also see doors open widely in financial prosperity.

The key is understanding your occupation’s and vocation’s influence, and then setting your boundaries accordingly.

Stirring the Pot:
What is your occupation?
What is your vocation?
What do you understand better because of your occupation and vocation?
What extra opportunities have opened to you because of them?
What danger zones and blind spots must you guard against and how?

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