We read and discussed Scripture, including Isaiah's call (Isa 6:1-8) and Jesus' words on being the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matt 5:13-15). In Isaiah, we noticed a sense of unworthiness that Isaiah had to overcome in order to answer God's call. He went from, "Who am I?" to "Here I am." And you can almost add in Luther's words, "Here I stand, I can do no other."
To parallel this theme, we watched a clip from The Pursuit of Happiness, where Will Smith interviews for the job he's been trying for over a month to get.
Question: How do we break the cycle of unworthiness in order to answer God's call to pursue the desires of heart? Also look at Gal 2:20 "For I have died in Christ...", Phil 4:13 "I can do anything through Christ who strengthens me," and 1 Cor 5:17 "Anyone in Christ is a New Creation."
We then watched a clip from Coach Carter, where a character quotes the amazing poem by Marianne Williamson, Our Greatest Fear (often mis-attributed to Neslon Mandela).
We then discussed some of the quotes below.
Vocation Notes from The Search for Meaning in the Workplace
Temptation in Work: to do the important, rather than the essential. (Nouwen)
Functions of Work:
"To give a person a chacne to utilize and develop his or her faculties; to enable one to overcome one's ego-centeredness by joining with other people in a common task; and to bring forth the goods and services needed for a becoming existence." (E.F. Schumacher, Small is Beautiful) (44)
"Good living and good working go together. Life and livelihood ought not to be separated but to flow from teh same source, which is Spirit. Spirit means life, and both life and livelihood are about living in depth, living with meaning, purpose, joy, and a sense of contributing to the greater community. A spirituality of work is about bringing life and livelihood back together again. And Spirit with them." (Matthew Fox, the Reinvention of Work) (51)
"Modern man has transformed himself into a commodity; he experiences his life energy as an investment with which he should make the highest profit, considering his position and the situation on the personality market. He is alienated from himself, from his fellow men and from nature. His main aim is profitable exchange of his skills, knowledge, and of himself, his "personality package" with others who are equally intent on a fair and profitable exchange. Life has no goal except the one to move, no principle except the one of fair exchange, no satisfaction except the one to consume." (Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving) (62)
"We make meaning out of our lives by our intention. It is our intention and willingness to act that makes meaning. Meaning-making encompasses both the present moment and future possibilities - both halves of reality. Our intention creates the meaning of present circumstances and events as well as the invisible future possibilities." (George Land and Beth Jarman, Break-Point and Beyond) (73)
Standards for Workplace: (76-77)
1. Shared VisionMaking Money is Meaningless
2. Common Values
5. Responsibility Sharing
6. Growth and Development
7. Tension Reduction
"The ultimate purpose of business is not, or should not be, simply to make money. Nor is it merely a system of making and selling things. The promise of business is to increase the general well-being of humankind through service, a creative invention and ethical philosophy. Making money is totally meaningless, and insufficient pursuit for the complex and decaying world we live in." (Paul Hawken, The Ecology of Commerce) (93)
"Man does not suffer so much from poverty today as he suffers from the fact that he has become a cog in a large machine, an automaton, that his life has become empty and lost its meaning." (Erich Fromm, Escape from Freedom) (112)
"Not to take possession of your life plan is to let your existence be an accident." (Irvin D. Yalom, When Nietzsche Wept) (114)
- Employee Ownership
- Participatory Management
- Value-Based Management
- Reinventing Work
"Our work is meant to be a grace. It is a blessing and a gift, even a surprise and an act of unconditional love, toward the community - and not just the present community that may or may not compensate us for our work, but the community to come, the generations that follow our work" (209).
From another book, Awakened to a Calling:
"Each of us holds within our souls the hope for soemthing more - something more than what we experience, accomplish, and consume. Sometimes that hope grows into longing for a life that brings together our dreams, our gifts, our wounds, and our truest loves. That longing is what pulls each of us toward vocation. If you feel that longing, be it a mild tingle or a sweet pain, then this book is for you." (5)
What's the dominant force in the world? Is it true? Can it be trusted? (68-9) (Walter Brueggemann)