I’ve met people who are happy doing what they do. Commercial fisherman, IT person, sales. They found their niche and they know it.
I’ve known others who enjoy what they do but they aren’t sure if they should be doing something else. It’s not that they don’t like their jobs, they do, but they wonder if they would enjoy another job more.
People who believe in God have an added dilemma. Whether they like their job or not they wonder if they are doing what God wants them to do. I have not found an easy way through this problem.
If someone likes their job, they wonder if that’s a sign they are doing God’s will or is it nothing more than complacency? How does enjoying oneself sync with “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23)?
On the other hand if someone does not enjoy the job, does this mean God has something else in store or is he building character by teaching patience and trust? At a certain point the reasoning becomes circular.
In January 1959 C. S. Lewis responded to a letter from a Mr. Edward Lofstrom responding to three inquiries: Christian books for children, the idea of “Gentle Jesus,” and the dilemma of wondering if one should be doing something else. On this third point he observes,
“If we feel we have talents that don’t find expression in our ordinary duties and recreations, I think we must just go on doing the ordinary things as well as we can. If God wants to use these suspected talents, He will: in His own time and way.”1
I guess without realizing it I arrived at the same conclusion.
“and to aspire to live quietly . . . and to work with your hands” – 1 Thessalonians 4:11.
- Walter Hooper, ed., The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis: Narnia, Cambridge, and Joy 1950-1963, Vol. III (New York: HarperSanFrancisco, 2007), 1011.