I worked as the fry girl at Wimpy’s for exactly one day a while back. Hated it.
My current work involves helping people match their calling from God with their dream job. I could be called a Predestination Matchmaker, although that doesn’t make any theological sense if you know anything about predestination or Presbyterian Polity. Actually my current work involves giving permission, opening doors, closing doors, encouraging exceptions, pointing in the right direction, making connections, shifting perspectives.
I love my job. I loved my previous job. I loved the job before that. All of them, more accurately have been callings. Honestly, I am one of the most fortunate people around.
Most people in the world do not earn money doing their dream jobs. We all know people called to do one thing, but they are doing another:
- Actors ushering theatre-goers,
- Chaplains filing papers,
- Writers mixing espresso drinks,
- Artists answering phones.
I believe that God uses us to do ministry wherever we happen to earn our money. This is not permission to get stuck or to prostitute ourselves or anything like that. But consider inserting your life’s calling into whatever you are doing now.
Sometimes we are truly stuck. One former parishioner sewed the clasps on bras in a factory for 30 years. It was soul-sucking, but she found an outlet for her ministry in the church.
Sometimes there are overwhelming cosmic roadblocks. I remember a friend telling me she had finally realized that God was calling her to teach ESL students and she was preparing for a dream job in that field when her husband became terminally ill. She traded her dream for the relentless job of trying to keep him safe, at least for now.
I often think about other dream jobs. What would I do if I could go back in time? Some of my favorite job fantasies:
- Spiritual Anthropology Professor
- NPR Interviewer (a la Diane Rehm or – oh my gosh – Terry Gross)
- Travel Writer
- Teacher in Near East Archaeological Museum
- Screenwriter (there’s still time!)
What are your dream jobs? It goes without saying that our dream jobs imply being successful in those fields. Nobody dreams of being a mediocre brain surgeon or an out-of-shape professional soccer player.
Where would you like to fit if you could choose? (And note: we can’t choose.)