Have you ever felt overwhelmed by work? Has your school day at times seemed too much? Do you ever wonder if teaching is for you? The Lord has probably been tugging at your heart to look at how and why He has made you. I just finished reading an inspirational book, “The Call to Work,” by one of our board members, Bob Erdmann who was inspired to remind you of your high calling. Our God is a purposeful God, sending us out into all the world to do the job of continuing His creative works. Mr. Erdmann does a masterful job and blending research, calling and worship to the workplace. Although the book is not necessarily about teaching, it is all about what God wired you to do. When you are working in your passion, you are God-driven. When you are working in misery, I believe one of two things is happening: you are not working in the field of your calling or you have forgotten that you are working for the Lord.
Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might…
Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters…
The book begins in the Garden and the beauty of creation. When you think about everything we do in school, the most important goal is to encourage our students to create. It is the highest level of human ability, directly designed by the Creator Himself. Have you ever thought about the ability to create? There is no other creature on earth who can create, but man. God has given us this stamp of Himself and charge to continue His creative beauty. That is why each of us is uniquely stamped with passions, interests and creative abilities unlike anyone else. How do we apply that to our workday? Recognize that teaching is a high calling. It is no ordinary job. In fact, teachers in the field who work our profession as a job, collect paychecks. Teachers in our profession who understand their high calling, know they work first for the Lord and then for their students and administrators.
To begin to understand your “call to work,” start with prayer. Ask God to show you your calling. If it is teaching and you have fallen into the drudgery of the daily grind or a difficult year of teaching, lay it before Him and ask Him to show you what He purposed You for. If it is teaching, begin each day working for Him. This new focus will help you define your purpose from Him. Everyone receives his or her calling or purpose from God differently, but I believe you have not, because you ask not. Ask. He will help you. About 10 years ago, I heard my calling and over time was able to write it down. “I have a dream to encourage teachers to be prayerfully dependent on the Lord, empower them to envision their high calling and equip them to know how.” With the help of Rick Warren from the Purpose Driven Life, I have learned to say “Yes,” to opportunities and job requests that are within my purpose. He taught me to ask three questions before making any decision:
1. Is it purpose driven?
2. Is it mission focused?
3. Is it Spirit-led?
If I have the opportunity to work with teachers, I know I am in my purpose. If there is a possibility that I can bring them into fellowship with other Christians through CEAI, then I know it is mission focused and if I encourage, equip or empower them with prayer, fellowship or vision, with the help of the Holy Spirit, then I know it is Spirit-led.
You have been called to work. You have been called to create. What a gift. Don’t just go to work, be a creator at work, no matter what you do. Thank you Bob Erdmann for the encouragement and thorough job of inspiring us to be God workers. May the Lord help our churches to recognize secular work as missional when we are working all that we do for the Lord and not for human masters.
Note: To more fully understand the 16-9 Movement, please read the first blog entry by clicking here.