Vocations and hairballs

A quick post today as this has been quite a week, but if you’re familiar with the wonderful theologian and author J.I. Packer, he has some very insightful words about the Christian concept of vocation over at Crosswalk.com. You can check it out here. I’ve given this topic some thought over the years and I find that there is the constant need to transcend the tyranny of the moment… it’s nearly impossible to keep a healthy perspective on what we’re really here to do (and whom we’re here to serve) when we get all worked up over the daily and weekly hairballs of corporate life.

Incidentally, I borrow that phrase “hairball” from the wonderful (albeit theologically questionable) book Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving with Graceby the late Gordon MacKenzie. It’s a book about behaving as a creative innovator by orbiting the hairball – you know, the politics, the pettiness, and the inertia of the status quo found at the center of most bureaucracies. He suggests that the key is not launching ourselves in the stratosphere, thereby declaring ourselves immune from relevant daily issues, and not getting ourselves tangled up right in the middle of the hairball. The same principle is true for us as Christians. We need to orbit these hairballs, reminding ourselves of our true vocation and staying close enough to be relevant (salt and light) without becoming entangled in the mess.


The gift of music

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” – Matthew 7:13-14

I got thinking earlier about the music I listen to throughout the work day. I listen to just about everything, from classical to hip-hop, but Christian music offers something unique – perspective. I turn to TobyMac for energy, Nichole Nordeman to chill me out, and Third Day for a moment of worship. But there’s one song that I lean on more than others – This Road by Jars of Clay. There are those moments, and unfortunately they happen more than I’d like to admit, when I totally lose perspective on the role of work in my life. Of course our significance as humans isn’t dependent up on our careers or whatever issues we’re caught up in during the work day, but sometimes we need a reminder of that fact. The song for me is a simple reminder that we’re on a road that God has laid out for us… and our sole purpose is to cling to our Creator as the one who shepherds us down that road and provides us the energy and joy that sometimes can’t be found on it.

Here it is for your listening pressure. And by the way, I connect with the song much more than the video… it’s just one of those songs that works better without visuals…