Ordinary Callings: April 2024 Everyday Faith Calendar

In college, I attended a Bible study hosted at a pastor’s home. One week, he said our homework was to make a list of our biggest questions about faith, and we’d discuss them and seek answers in Scripture. So the following week, a group of twenty-year-olds bombarded him with all our burning questions. Can you guess which topic was most common?

What am I called to do with my life? 

How can I know if God wants me to marry this person, major in this subject, or take this job?

Am I fulfilling my purpose?

How will I know what God’s plan is for my life?

In short, everyone had questions about vocation.

I think people of all ages have questions about their vocation. Children want to find what they’re good at in school. Teens and college kids want to figure out what they’re meant to do with their future. And grown-ups? We want to know if we’ve “made it,” done enough, should have done something different, fulfilled our every hope and dream, or followed exactly where God was leading us.

No pressure.

What God Says

It would be nice if God would give us a giant flashing arrow when we have choices to make in life. He could shout, “Take the job here!” or “Talk to that guy! He’s going to be important in your life!” or “Here’s exactly how you should serve in the church!”

But that’s not how He works. He does, however, give us guidance in His Word.

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (Colossians 3:17)

Basically, serve and obey God, no matter what you are doing. That’s it? But how? Where? In what jobs or relationships?

There is a great passage in the newest edition of Luther’s Small Catechism with Explanation that I personally find helpful:

I serve and obey God when I use all of these gifts within my various walks of life (vocations) for my well-being and that of my neighbor and the wider creation. God puts me into a network of relationships with people around me whom I am called to serve. God gives me freedom to pursue my vocations in accord with the skills and aptitudes He has given me. (Question 144)

Freedom in Christ

If you’ve ever doubted your current vocation or obsessed over what your future callings might be, go back to what you know. You know your identity is in Christ. His purpose on this earth was to die and rise again for your salvation. He gives you the purpose of being His baptized child, His disciple, called to live a life of repentance in accordance with His Word. Your worth is based on what Jesus did for you, not what you do in this life. His love and forgiveness are not dependent on your accomplishments. He has called you by name; you are His.

You also know the callings you currently have. Maybe they aren’t glamorous, and maybe one day you will be doing something “more exciting” with your days. But today your job might just be to study for another test, change another diaper, run the cash register, attend a long meeting, make spaghetti for your spouse, talk to a friend after church, or pray for your grandchildren as you sit in the nursing home. Whatever season of life you are in, do these ordinary tasks faithfully as a witness to the love of Jesus.

After that, remember you have freedom in Christ to use your gifts in a variety of vocations. Yes, He holds your future and knows the plans for your life. But God created you for the main purpose of being His child, and He has given you the freedom to use your gifts as you live and serve in His creation.

A pastor I know once said, “Sometimes, God opens one door and makes it clear you should walk through it. Other times, He opens two doors and says, ‘Pick one! I’ll be with you wherever you go.’”

Trust God with your present and future vocations, knowing He will give you “strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow” (LSB 809:3), all the way into eternity.

Scripture: ESV®.

The quotation from the Small Catechism is taken from Luther's Small Catechism with Explanation © 1986, 2017 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Hymn text from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Download the Everyday Faith Calendar to focus on God’s faithfulness in our various vocations. You will find short Bible readings and prayer prompts for each day.

Download Calendar

Picture of Emily Hatesohl
Written by

Emily Hatesohl

Emily Hatesohl is a wife, mom, coffee drinker, daily walk taker, Nebraska native, new Kansan, and avid board game player. She and her husband met as percussionists in the band at Concordia University, Nebraska. After college, Emily worked as a copyeditor at Concordia Publishing House and received a master’s degree in English from the University of Missouri—St. Louis. Her job for the foreseeable future includes chasing her two young sons around and writing or editing if they happen to nap at the same time.

Subscribe to all CPH Blog topics (Worship, Read, Study, Teach, and Serve)