On vocation

This morning I had the opportunity to speak on my understanding of my vocation.  This is always a difficult concept for me to wrap my head around, so what I came up with is below. I hope you like it.

I have a sister who used to say, “Sean hears music different.” When I was in high school, I rebelled not with sex, drugs or rock-n-roll, but by listening to jazz and classical music. I’m fairly certain my parents had no clue I was rebelling, they just thought I was odd. With the assistance of my music teacher, who was more than happy to assist me in my ‘rebellion’, I dove deep into both styles of music. The end effect was that I learned to hear what was happening with the music. Where most people will listen to instrumental music as a grand combination of sounds, I started to hear the different parts of it and separate them out, which resulted in me saying things like, “Did you hear what he just did with the violas?” or “That was an interesting use of English Horn”. Knowing what I was hearing and what to listen for gave me a different and richer – if you ask me – experience of the music.

There’s this idea that the work of God in the earth is like a song and that being a Christian is about living a life in tune with that song. When thinking about my vocation I see it as helping people to understand the song better. I’m a teacher at heart and my desire is always to help people go deeper with their understanding of God and his work in their lives. Whether it’s a talk over coffee, a discussion after a movie or spending the better part of 5 months working through the book of Job it’s all about helping people, myself included, go deeper.

For so many people their faith has become background music – it’s there and it’s nice and comforting but there’s nothing in it to draw their attention to it. There are times for our faith to be background music, but there are also times for us to hear something within the music that draws our attention to it – that brings it to the forefront. When I think of my vocation, I think of it as helping people to hear the parts of the song, that is God, and helping them to understand how those parts relate to each other.

Because the song is so much better when you can hear the parts.

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