I am currently reading this book called Sanctifying Your Daily Life. It is a book about work, and how we can find holiness in our daily lives. Even though it was written before my time (1946), there are so many things to take a way from it. With the Second Reading of Sunday’s Mass, my thoughts naturally fell on vocation and what calling we have. I think this book was perfect timing with the Mass.
Work these days has been something that we just had to do. We know that some of us has to work outside of the houses and others work inside. What I have noticed is that in our society, only one kind of work hold value. When I was a working for pay kind of woman, my value was depended on how much I could bring in. I was valuable to the company based on how much I was earring.
The goal was to always increase my earnings, because (like everyone) my value and worth was wrapped in how much I was making. Then I stopped working in 2009 to be a full-time stay at home mom, and oh boy did the mental games begin! I felt that I didn’t have value to my family because I wasn’t bring in income. That my role of watching and taking care of a baby (at the time) was nothing, compared to working outside of the home and generating money.
Society didn’t tell me different either. When I would come across people who found out I was a mother full-time, the question would always be, “So when are you going back to work?” It was as if the work I was doing was not good enough. Being a wife, mother, and home keeper was not good enough. If I wasn’t earning money, then I was worthless.
It’s taken years to get out of that mind-set. I think that our society loves work–and that’s a good thing! However, I also feel that our society has gone overboard for what it deems as “real work.”
I’ve seen this a lot–“those who pray for their lives are just living off of those who are working.” A lot of emphasis has been drawn to physical work–work that you can see. I think it’s beautiful to have a contemplative life. If we were to be fully honest with ourselves (and with others who make comments like these), it’s not just the do-ers that get things done–its the thinkers that know what to do when it’s time to do.
This makes me think of a forum that I went to that talked about sisters who live a contemplative life. Too often the comments were harsh, and not giving their respected vocation respect. I’m sure the sisters have thick skins (and are not on forums like these) but it gives us a glimpse of how far we’ve come with our idea of work.
Walking with Patience
It all comes down to personal vocations. People are called to do so many wonderful things, and I think we can respect the talent that God has given each of us. We are all called to a different vocation–after-all not everyone is called to be a soldier, or a doctor, or a pilot. It’s these different callings that makes our world rich and vibrant.
Now this one is pretty interesting–there has been a growing trend that honestly started before I was born, to look down on physical labor. These are the hardworking blue-collar jobs that “no one” ever seems to want. We have been taught that the kind of job we want is a white-collar job. So in turn, blue-collar work has been looked down up on and seen as something as undesirable.
However, it’s these blue-collar jobs that helps our society function as well. We need the construction workers, the plumbers, mechanics and many more! It’s sad that we now have an idea of a “good” job versus a “bad” job.
Motherhood and Married Life
Going back to motherhood–or work in the home, it’s an under appreciated vocation. We don’t give it much credit, and for those of us who work in the home–we also don’t speak of it with its full importance. We are complete support mode. We help out everyone–be it the baby or our husband! It’s those moments when we don’t do something, then it’s noticeable.
It’s take a while to not think too much of what others think about my job. Right now, I’m called to be a full-time mother, and helper to my husband. I don’t know what the future holds, but in the meantime, I’ll sit tight, and see what God has in store for me.
Whatever we are called to do in life, let us support one another in those choices. Let’s not look down up on each other and think that one calling is higher than the other. Yes, some are put in a position of great power. But let’s be honest, with that great power comes with it a ton or responsibility. Others have smaller things to do, but even if it’s the tiniest thing–it’s still important.
As Saint Paul reminds us, one body one Spirit.
What is your vocation at the moment? Were you always open to yours current calling?