TEDIOUS BOREDOM & SHEER TERROR


I spoke with a man whose job was to drive locomotive through Northern Ontario. When asked what his job was like he said, “It is days of tedious boredom combined with moments of sheer terror.”  

So why had he devoted his adult life to the rails? 




Why do truckers endure the long haul and why do daycare workers put up with demanding parents and low pay?

Some work because it is a means to an end. They endure their job in order to pay the bills and put their kids through college. Still, others are engaged in their work (paid and unpaid) because they are compelled to. They have an inner sense of being in the right place. They see higher value than the task at hand.

Pastors, chaplains and community builders often have that inner sense. We name it ‘the call of God’. It may involve a ‘job’ that we do to pay the bills, but something deeper calls us to live each moment purposefully.


The call of God is a bit like the call of the sea. It may not be very specific. It may not be a call to this ocean or that ocean, or to this particular port or that one; it is more like a restless, yearning, which can only be satisfied by going to sea.[i]


A look at the men and women God called in Scripture reveals seasons of restless yearning and times of faith to take great risk. You find yourself somewhere in that continuum. Can you look at your current community and say that you are there by God’s choosing? It might be good to know that.

The qualifier that separates picking a career from responding to God’s Call is the sense that you must do this. It is your love response to the God who beckoned you to Himself.


‘It is God Who saved us and called us with a holy calling. Not according to our works, but to further His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before the world began’ (2 Timothy 1:9).


When we struggle with contentment, challenge and uncertainty in our place of service we need to recall the First Call. The calling to be a disciple of Jesus is the highest calling that sustains you when your position becomes redundant, someone else is elected or you are unemployed.

God chooses to further His own purpose and grace through your life, in season and out.








[i] A sermon preached by John Hull on February 4th 2007 in the Chapel of the Queen’s Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education, Birmingham, to mark the end of a residential course on the Mission of the Church in Britain. www.johnmhull.biz/SermonTheCallOfGod.doc

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