Friday 5: Joining the Conversation at The High Calling

When this blog was part of The High Calling, I decided to highlight articles from The High Calling as one of my Friday 5 posts. But The High Calling no long aggregates blogs and is now part of the Theology of Work Project, so I’ve updated the links below.

These days I have a particular interest in anything related to a spirituality of work since I’m thinking about a new book project as a companion to my Sacred Pauses: Spiritual Practices for Personal Renewal. Rest and renewal in the form of sacred pauses and spiritual practice are vital to healthy living, but the flip side of all of that is a healthy spirituality of work. In the rhythm of work and rest, Sacred Pauses addresses just the one side of rest, and over the last year since its publication, I’ve been thinking a lot about the other side of work.

I’m not yet sure what a new book project on spirituality/spiritual practice/work might look like, or how it might be different from other books on work already available, but I’m mulling that over and have started collecting some ideas. Here is a sampling:

All in a Day’s Work: Practicing Spirituality at Work
“God is constantly creating, and we are all invited to be part of that process: the barber who makes someone feel good before an important event; the nurse who lifts a patient’s spirits when he is despairing; the secretary who helps transmit an important document, the sales person who finds just what a busy person needs; the car dealer who makes sure that a vehicle meets safety standards.”

Ben Witherington on a Biblical Theology of Work
In this post, New Testament scholar Ben Witherington introduces his book, Work: A Kingdom Perspective on Labor.  He says, “the theology of work in the Bible has to be set alongside the theology of rest in the Bible.” In the same way, I’m thinking that a spirituality of Sacred Pauses also needs to be set alongside a spirituality of work.

How Micro-Prayers Can Get You through the Workday
“To deal with the constant rash of self-centered and negative mind-chatter, I have taken to saying tiny micro-prayers at various points throughout the day: prior to walking into a difficult meeting; while in the midst of same meeting; before presenting a Big Idea to the Big Cheese; while staring blankly into my computer; or just about any time when I suspect there might be head-butting and ego-clashing coming down the hall.”

Reimagining the Spiritual Purpose of Our Work
“I started sinking into my work and career as an inherent part of my spiritual journey, where God was going to teach me, use me, build his kingdom through me.”

Work in Progress
This is my Pinterest board where I plan to collect ideas for my maybe new book project on Work and Spiritual Practice. I started it as a “secret” board, and changed the setting to public last night. Please follow along if you’d like to track my progress, and if you have books or articles to suggest, please feel free to send me a pin or leave a comment below.

So what do you think? Is there room for another book on work, focused on work as spiritual practice? Not as drudgery that we need a break from, but as gift and delight as part of our spiritual journey, as vital to our spiritual health as rest and renewal? That’s where my thoughts are headed these days, and I just might need to write about it.


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11 thoughts on “Friday 5: Joining the Conversation at The High Calling

  1. Hi April! I believe a work on the spirituality of work would be an excellent companion to “Sacred Pauses”. The High Calling does indeed have wonderful articles on faith and work. So, there are many other people pondering this part of life. Sometimes the “mundane-ness” of life can distract me — or at least dull my senses — from God’s amazing hand at work in and through our life.

  2. Hi April,
    Have you read any of Paul Steven’s books or articles on this topic? Or attended any lectures at Regent he’s done on spirituality at work?
    Another angle to consider including would be spirituality in caretaking (parents / spouses etc—-those with long term medical needs).

    1. Hi Helen – I once took a course from Paul Stevens on the ministry of the laity that included material on faith and work. It was an excellent course, and more recently I see that he’s published Work Matters: Lessons from Scripture which is now on my to-read list. Thanks for the suggestion!

    1. Hi Glynn – thank you for stopping by! It’s my privilege to be part of The High Calling. So far I’ve read more than I’ve interacted, but it’s been a wonderful introduction to the network and I look forward to more….

  3. April – We are so happy to have you as part of the High Calling network, and we look forward to connecting with you as part of our community. Work as Spiritual Practice sounds really intriguing. I’ll look forward to what you uncover as you research and pray.

    1. Thanks, Charity. The one thing that gives me pause is that there are already so many great articles on faith/spirituality/work. Why write more when I could just read and read and read? I sometimes ask the same question about blogging too–why blog when there are already so many other blogs? And yet I know there’s value in each of us adding our unique voice, and somehow with faith/spirituality/work, I feel as if I’m reaching for something that I haven’t read yet, Thank you for your word of encouragement.

  4. April, I’m so glad you are finding the conversations at The High Calling helpful. Thanks for highlighting these resources here! Your book sounds lovely. I’m going to check it out right now! Keep us posted on your idea for the companion book.

    1. Hi Laura – thank you for your kind words, and I’d love to hear what you think of Sacred Pauses. I’m glad for this first year of publication and look forward to what might develop in this next year too.

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