Journal Assignment #4
Single or Multiple Callings & Vocations
As you know, early in history having a vocation meant being called to serve the Church. Around the time of the Reformation, it came to be associated with any type of work one does: being a farmer, being a teacher, being a king could all be vocations if people were called to fill these roles by God.
Later, writers began to argue that people were not limited to a single vocation in life—that is, they questioned whether people were fated to serve only one role in life. Instead, as social mobility and freedom grow, people’s lives change. An individual may serve many professions and roles in a lifetime, perhaps ones that overlap. For example, a woman might run a business and be a mother and see both as callings for her. A man may believe he is called to be both a physician and a Little League coach.
As you continue to reflect on the meaning of calling and vocation, where do you stand on these questions:
1. Do people have a single calling in life, one true vocation they are meant to discern and live?
2. Do people have multiple callings in life that they move through, one by one, as they grow up and grow old?
3. Do people have multiple callings in life that they live simultaneously—two or more at the same time?
4. What is the difference between being employed to do certain kinds of work and having a calling to do certain kinds of work? Consider the essay by Dawson.
Illustrate your responses with real or hypothetical examples that help clarify and explain your position.