Last year CareerBliss, a company that works to help people find happiness in the workplace, published a survey of thousands of people. The survey revealed the jobs that were the most hated by those in them. The list of the ten most hated jobs is somewhat surprising. It included positions such as director of information technology, director of marketing, product manager, web developer, and technical specialist, among others. What is surprising about this is that these are relatively high level, good paying jobs. The National Organization for Research at the University of Chicago did a survey at the other end of the spectrum. They looked for the jobs with the most satisfaction. Again the list of the ten happiest jobs was somewhat surprising. Heading the list was clergy. That seems at odds with studies that show a high percentage of pastors are stressed and looking for a way out of ministry. I have no answer for those contradictory results, but included on the “happy” list of jobs were firefighters, teachers, authors, psychologists and others.
We were made by God to be significant. He has put in us the sense that our lives must mean something. To do some task that accomplishes little or nothing of value other than to make money for someone is deadening to the soul. This is another reason why the good news of Jesus Christ is really good news! In Christ we have been given a high calling that we can exercise no matter what our job. Peter wrote, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9). Every moment we can fulfill this role of being God’s priests, of letting others see his glory through us.
In their book, Bruce And Stan Search For The Meaning Of Life, Bruce Bickel and Stan Jantz relate their encounter with a taxi driver in New Orleans. Most of the cabs they rode in there were gross and disgusting but this cab gleamed like it had just come off the showroom floor. They asked the cab driver about why his car was so different. He said it was because to him that cab was the kingdom of God. He could glorify God through the way he maintained his taxi and gave his customers service. I doubt if taxi driver would be high on the list of vocational happiness, but for that one man it was full of meaning and therefore joyful. No matter what we do our lives can be brimming with significance because in whatever we do we can be priests, letting others see the glory of our Lord.