This summer, I had the opportunity to be a part of City Life. Through City Life’s forums and discipleship groups, I learned how to integrate the Gospel and our work, and I was able to practically apply this knowledge through my summer job and internship. Through the community of other believers who shared a same vigor for this pursuit, I was encouraged and challenged to continually live on mission through my vocation. I would like to share my two most impactful realizations with you.
God isn’t as concerned with what vocation we go into as much as He is concerned how we use that vocation for His glory and His purposes.
I think the most substantial piece of wisdom I obtained this summer through City Life is the fact that God isn’t as concerned with what vocation we go into as much as He is how we use that vocation for His glory and His purposes. Our first and most important vocation is to be missionaries for God’s Kingdom. God doesn’t call us to our vocation and to be a light for His Kingdom after, but to first be the light of God, then to our respected vocation. As someone who has changed their major seven times (yes, seven), one could probably deduct that I have no clue what I want to do in life. It’s even scarier knowing that I will be out of college and entering the workforce very soon. I always hoped that God would just sort of tell me what to do for my career. I even expected one (or most) of our City Life forum speakers to simply tell us this definite path of how a Christian is supposed to go about choosing a vocation. But as every one of them continued to tiptoe around it, I realized that maybe it was my view that was the problem. I wanted them to simply tell me what to do in life, when in reality, it’s not what I do, but whom I do it for. When we let the power of the Gospel reorient our view of our vocation then it doesn’t matter what we do but that we do it all to the glory of God (1 Cor. 10.31). And the way we do that is by being a reflection of the Gospel so that others may see the gospel and become reflections as well.
Our primary calling is to love God and glorify Him through our work. (Proverbs 3.5-6)
God cares about our 9-5, meaning our work matters.
My second big realization, which comes off as a bit contradictory to my first, is that God cares about our 9-5, meaning our work matters. God has placed us in the vocation we are currently in for a reason (Esther 4.14), and though the variables for each walk of life may differ, our main reason for work is to be a light for God’s Kingdom. The Lord lays out an excellent example in Genesis 1 for us to follow as He displays His divine craftsmanship in creating the heavens and the Earth and all that is within it. He also portrays to us the archetype of humble jobs through His carpenter Son, Jesus. If this isn’t enough to convince us that The Lord cares about our work, we need simply to look at the cross, where Christ took on literally the hardest job ever — bearing the weight of sin reserved for every human in order that we might become the righteousness of God. Through these examples, God displays to His creation that work is important to God because He created work, and humans were meant to carry on and take part in God’s work because it is a means of worship to God.
All work is designed to bring glory to God and He has given us the opportunity to be a part of it.
That being said, as students we are in very special places as we try to figure out what God is calling us towards in life. Being a student is a gift that The Lord has given many of us, and it is a job that The Lord has currently placed us in. We are to serve Him with our time and efforts at this time, just as we will when we are in the workforce. Although there are many choices and factors in college that pull our gaze towards trying to figure things out ourselves, we must not lose sight of the simplicity that God has called us to through the Gospel. That simplicity would be to seek God above all else, and seek Him with vigor. The next steps will fall into place.
If you are a college student, you should do City Life. Here’s why. The Gospel radically reorients our vocation, and what better way to learn just what that looks like in your own life than among brothers and sisters in Christ who are laboring for the same cause. City Life will challenge you to move your vocation to a place that is strategic for God’s Kingdom, where the Gospel is not heard. It will show you why we, as Christians, must love the city we are placed in just as the Lord loves it, as well as what productivity reoriented by the Gospel really looks like in our workplaces.
City Life will show you how the Gospel transforms every square inch of our life.
“Love God and do the next.” -St. Augustine
-Ethan Sykes (City Life Student)