Blurred Lines: Calling, Vocation, and Purpose

BY: BRIT GILMORE

Brit Gilmore is the President of The Giving Keys. She is passionate about job creation for community transformation and using business to build self-esteem and break cycles of poverty.

A person living in their purpose is powerful, especially when their purpose is rooted in virtuous and compassionate ideas for the common good. I am so inspired today by all of the courageous innovators with bold and transformative ideas that exist and are succeeding at what they set out to do. I look at organizations and companies like International Justice MissionFEEDTOMSWarby ParkerKrochet Kids, etc and I get really excited for where the world is headed. Non-profits are becoming smarter at their work and social businesses that are using products to create revenue, raise awareness AND solve problems are showcasing that for-profit business can have a positive impact on people, communities and the world. 

Unfortunately, the early and medieval church promoted this idea that there is a divide between sacred and secular - that there were sacred jobs and ‘ordinary’ jobs.  In this spiritual dualism 'spiritual' callings were elevated over 'secular' callings. As the Puritan writer William Perkins put it in his Treatise on the Vocations or Callings of Men, “The main end of our lives . . . is to serve God in the serving of men in the works of our callings.” Living in your purpose or vocation is “a certain kind of life, ordained…by God, for the common good.”

Our calling is sacred whether that’s as a pastor, writer, musician, photographer, entrepreneur, mom, athlete or actor. How do we find it? I would suggest it comes through intentional seeking, both internal and external – asking the question, ‘what needs are there in the world and how can I help?’ equally as much as we are asking ‘what am I created for?’  Calling is not only the utilization of your specific talents and gifts, but an awareness of the world around you, the needs of your community and the merging of the two. Living a life of service through your unique talents and gifts in whatever industry or sphere you are called. Be bold, be courageous, live out your values to better the world.