i write about the subject of calling often. i find i need to be reminded daily of the calling god has given--and in my work, i come across many who need the same reminder.
today, as i was driving to work, i passed a group of chicago public school teachers on strike who were marching, shouting, and waving signs from atop a highway overpass. it became quite the spectacle as cars on the highway honked back at the teachers in support. shouting. honking. teachers standing near the highway instead of in the classroom. not the normal wednesday rush hour commute.
and, all of it made me think about calling again. sure, the teachers' strike is about fair wages, honest evalulations, and good health benefits, but really, once all that is solved, teachers still won't be rich or swimming in great health care. for most, the teaching profession is their calling. they love kids and are committed to the growth and development of all children, and their caring classrooms give kids a chance to dream and create and be something they might not have otherwise been.
and they do all this in the daily grind of teaching. i know about the grind because i taught in a head start school for a year. and a year was plenty long for me. crowded classrooms, short on supplies, and frustrated parents made each day difficult. in my classroom, we never had enough paper towels and that drove me absolutely crazy. teaching in the classroom is hard work, every day.
but, when god's voice speaks louder than the hard, difficult work around you -- that's a calling.
there's a misconception that when you're doing the work god has called you to it will be easy, and fun, and happy-skippy. i don't believe that. most days when i'm working within my calling i feel tired, sometimes frustrated, and often challenged. and, i'm sure i've never skipped while working.
but, god's voice, his gentle reminders sustain and calm me, and remind that the hard work, the nitty gritty is worth the effort. because working from a god-given calling brings deep satsifaction to life.
for us, the leaders & teachers of children in the church, the hard work begins when we see the piles of paperwork waiting to be filed, the classrooms needing to be cleaned, the volunteer phone calls to be made, the budgets to be trimmed, and the parents begging to be reassured and we think to ourselves -- this job is hard, but worth it--that's a calling.
a calling is a leading, a prompting, an inner peace reminding us that this is the purpose of our life. that even on the hardest, ugliest days, this is god's charge for us.
blessings for your hard work today.
may god's voice ring louder and more true than the nitty gritty of the job.