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The unified life

"The unified life" Continued...

Issue: "Biblical callings," Dec. 4, 2010

Specific detail is important both in writing and in thinking about callings. In school, we learn to be generalists: The goal is to get on the honor roll by getting good grades in all classes. In the work world, though, we specialize: We need to become excellent at one thing, and failing at some others is not failure. Miller gives this good advice: "Work where you are the strongest 80 percent of the time, where you are learning 15 percent of the time, where you are weak 5 percent of the time."

He also notes that "fulltime Christian service" is a misleading expression, because "the Bible gives dignity to any work. All occupations are sacred." He's not saying that about prostitution or other ungodly vocations, but once we've dropped those negatives we also "need to eliminate the artificial ranking of the godliness of work. There are no second-class citizens in the workplace." Thinking of this theologically: We are all actors on God's stage who need to learn how we fit into His big story. Each role is important, and we are subjectively choosing moment by moment even though objectively the drama is already written: We can aspire to be heroes rather than villains or idiots.

Miller rightly describes the importance of challenges. Here's the first part of an ad that explorer Ernest Shackleton placed in the early 1900s as he looked for candidates for a South Pole expedition: "Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, long hours." The ad drew more than 5,000 candidates. Here's David Livingston's response from Africa when the missionary society asked him if he had "found a good road" so that other missionaries could easily join him: "If you have men who will come only if they know there is a good road, I don't want them. I want men who will come if there is no road at all."

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.

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