In the process of looking for paid employment, I picked up a book written by MacKenzie and Kirkland (2002). In a chapter on sabbaticals, they talk of the need for a time of rest; taking time out from the normal routine to be restored and to re-evaluate the direction of our lives.
Supposedly, the time that we had away last year was a sabbatical but it was filled up with the normal routine of research (working on the PhD). It certainly had some elements of rest and restoration but it wasn't the break from routine that enables real refreshing.
Now, as I work in industry, I am feeling like I am having a sabbatical. The work is different and so are the pressures. I am seeing my academic work in a new context and considering how I might apply all that I have learnt in a new context.
Another chapter in their book focuses on calling. Here they make an interesting observation that our call isn't to a task. Rather it is to a relationship with God and with those around us. It is living out that relationship in whatever context we work that really illustrates our calling.
In a Christian context, a call is often associated with entering Christian work but MacKenzie and Kirkland are emphasising that every Christian is called. The way that we work out our calling will show in the way that we do our work and interact with those around us.
MacKenzie and Kirkland (2002) Where's God on Monday? Christchurch: NavPress.