Are you looking forward to the day when you can finally quit your day job or retire? To many, this is the end goal of a vocation—the end of vocation itself. We so desperately work towards financial security in order to peacefully enjoy the remainder of our days without asking a critical question: Is there a greater purpose to my work?
Contributor Hugh Whelchel has spent a great deal of his own career emphasizing the importance of one’s work, particularly within the framework of the Christian worldview. Below are two recent articles we believe are worth featuring in which Hugh explains the role of a Christian’s work within the context of “the already and not yet”—in a world where God’s Kingdom has been established yet not fully consummated. We also discuss this idea in our own terms, which you can read more about here.
The Kingdom of God is Not Just the Church
Working Between the First & Second Comings of Christ
In short, we are all called to a creative work that reflects the nature of our Creator and points to His return. This gives our job inherent worth and value not only within our human timeline but within all of eternity. Hugh concludes his second article with this:
Jesus told his followers, “You are the salt of the earth” and “You are the light of the world” (Matt. 5:13-14). God has delivered each of his children out of death into life and out of darkness into light—for a reason. As we believe, repent, and enter into the kingdom in this age, all of our work becomes a witness to the way things could be, a signpost pointing to the second coming of Christ and the age to come.
No matter the job, vocation, or calling, this reality should prompt Christians to think about work in a new way. The nagging “How much longer?” thought we often get while working should be transformed into a radically more purposeful question: “How much longer do I get to worship God and serve people through the work He has given me?”
Few others have demonstrated this more than Hugh who has faithfully continued to work despite his declining health due to a battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease. In his Praxis Circle interview, he told us, “What you do is very important to God. And I believe there’s some things that I’m doing now that He wants me to finish. And I’m praying that He’ll give me the time to do that.”
As Hugh prepares to celebrate another year of his life this Friday (May 27), we are thankful for the time that he has been given to continue the work he has been called to. We are honored to have him as a Praxis Circle Contributor, board member, and living example of what it looks like when one’s worldview directly influences every aspect of life—even work. May we all seek lasting purpose in what we do.