just one occupation

Years ago I had a discussion with a friend around how we label ourselves, the chief argument was around why we introduce ourselves as a mechanic, plumber, doctor, lawyer etc rather than as a Christian or father or mother. Part of this confusion (? delusion) rides in the importance of success secular society, others perhaps the work ethic instilled in us by parents wanting something better than they have.

But Christ teaches us there is only one occupation “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Matt 12:30-31 KJV). These two conjoined commandments are the cornerstone of our Fatih.

And it is not “Love the Lord your God” and be a plumber, or “Love your neighbour as yourself” and build houses. First and foremost we are called to love God and our neighbour.

This is not to say work is unimportant, or unnecessary, but it is something we do to show how much we love God and to give us more opportunities to love our neighbours. Around eight years ago one of my managers and I were discussing life the universe and occupations. Back then, while solid in my faith, there was still the fire in my belly for success; probably for success’ sake. He surprised me with his take on his role, that while he desired to be satisfied by it, there was no great drive for ladder climbing as it “wasn’t the centre of his being” (my paraphrase). Back then I thought I understood it but now I really do.

God has presented me with an opportunity over the coming months, to take a breather and understand where next my path will lead. An adventure of three and a half years has come to an end and I do leave many experiences and friends behind.

The real challenge for me in this time is to focus on that one occupation; to love God and my neighbour with a focus that will lead me into that next adventure.

Glory to thee, O God, Glory to Thee