Work’s thorns and thistles

By Dave Henning / May 9, 2013

In the section of Chapter 5 entitled “Thorns and Thistles”, Timothy Keller (Every Good Endeavor) states that frustration and lack of fulfillment characterizes all work (and, I might add, looking for work) and human effort, part of the curse of work in a fallen world.  Pastor Keller goes on to define fruitless work:

“We mean that, in all our work, we will be able to envision far more than we can accomplish, both because of our lack of ability and because of resistance in the environment around us.”

Even on our best days, the author notes, we are working within a system that seems stacked against us.  Unemployment or underemployment following our ministry downsizing or position loss only intensifies our feeling of disenfranchisement.  In order to effectively cope with these frustrations, Pastor Keller emphasizes that it’s important for us to “understand and hold in tension what the Bible says about God’s design for work, and also about the problems of work in a broken world.”

In our desert, transition period, we need to be open to the possibility of vocational change.  Timothy Keller offers these words of encouragement:

” . . . it is perfectly natural that changing careers may be necessary to maximize fruitfulness.  God can- and often does- change what he calls us to do.”

Has a career change given you are greater sense of calling to the vocation God truly has intended for you?  Please share your thoughts.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Serving the work”



About the author

Dave Henning

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