Tag Archives: vocation

Vocational Questions

In the process of discerning your vocation? Well, in an effort to aid your deliberations, I’d like to offer some suggestions for your reflection. I once came across a thoughtful set of questions from Cornelius Plantinga Jr. that means to prod your thinking on the topic. It comes from Engaging God’s World, (Eerdmans, 2002), 116. I thought I’d adapt it some and offer it here for anyone looking for a place to start. Now I don’t expect you to answer all of these questions, just that maybe one would introduce a consideration you hadn’t yet thought to entertain.

So here they are. Six questions to ask yourself when discerning your vocation.

  1. Would you enjoy and respect the work to the extent that you could offer your best efforts on a regular and long-term basis?
  2. Do you have a talent for the work that leads you to believe you would succeed at its practice?
  3. Is there a need for the work? Is there a shortage of workers?
  4. How honest is the work you’re fixing to do?
  5. With whom would you work? With corrupting or sanctifying influences?
  6. Does the work fit into your preexisting web of responsibilities, i.e., to your parents, spouse, children, siblings, friends, church, etc.?

Gilbert Meilaender on work

By undergirding the dignity of irksome work in powerful religious language, we may too easily be invited to overlook just how hard and unsatisfying much toil is. We may recommend such work as service to the neighbor or, even, as spiritual discipline, but we should be careful lest this religious language lead us to ignore the empirical realities of the work many people do.

from Working: Its Meaning and Its Limits (Ethics of Everyday Life), (U of Notre Dame, 2000)