Maybe its the changing in the weather or just a time in our lives, but it seems everyone around us is upping sticks, moving abroad or changing careers. And if they haven't done so recently, they are thinking about it.
There seems to be something contagious about change. When you see those around you pursuing new horizons and trying to route out their course it breeds, and spreads through small groups of friends and communities like wildfire.
For some years now I have had the pleasure of spending quite of time around students going through university. Seeing them pick courses and electives for new semesters and ultimately graduating and heading out into the world of work is also really inspiring.
However whether it is friends changing careers, heading abroad or graduating and going out to seek a career for the first time - there seems to be a question that permeates through all of them - does is matter where I work? Not just - does it pay enough or will I be looked after, but does it matter to God?
One thing that the internet has done us is massively extended a disease known in the TwitterSphere as FOMO. The Fear of Missing Out. Now we have so much Haccess to all of the job possibilities out there. Linkedin and Twitter give us new unprecedented access to every job level and career option going. Recruitment agents are having a whale of time, sending inMails to everyone who remotely could match a job description, and in my industry I can certainly testify to 90% of these being way off base.
This change in how we approach our careers choices seems to be helping perpetuate this FOMO way of living. Should I switch roles, companies? Should I move for more money or happiness? What should I do to feel fulfilled? And what does being fulfilled even mean? Will God be happy with my choice or should I do something more "kingdom focused"?
In Corinthians 3 we read:
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, (Colossians 3:17, 23 NIV)
Don't miss the emphasis here - Paul says that in whatever you do do it in the name of Jesus.
We as Christians - scratch that - as humans, have a really bad habit of trying to put things in boxes. We love to categorise and organise. We have been doing it since the time of the temple, when we built places to contain the glory of God and appointed people as Priests to mediate that glory to the people. In doing so we today invoke thousands of years of history thinking that some jobs are somehow more holy that others, or more worthy than others.
Pastor. Missionary. Charity Worker. Full Time Christian Whatever.
There is no such thing as full time Christian service. We are ALL full time. We are all Christians. We all SERVE. This is our calling friends. This is what we are here to do. In whatever we do - bring glory to him. The only ones who should be suffering from the blight of FOMO is those who haven't yet met him - not us.
I am not saying here that it is not important to think things through. To pray for God to guide the big choices in life, or that in certain circumstances. However to do any of this effectively we must first understand that we are all called to play our part in this - whether we spend our days pushing prams, preaching from pulpits or punching prices.
I was recently researching for a sermon I was writing on this topic and came across this story about St Augustine - who when asked about how to discern God's will for our lives he answered;
Love God, and do as you please.
This friends, is good news. Let's get on with it. Whatever.