Daily Word of Grace # 255 (June 3, 2021)

When you meet someone for the first time, after exchanging names and pleasantries the next question is often, “So what do you do?” meaning “What is your career?”  Many 17 and 18 year old high school graduates go to college in order to decide on a “career path” and prepare accordingly.  In his powerful 2007 book Grace in Practice Paul Zahl connects “grace” with the desire for a “career”: “Everyone wants a career.  Everyone thinks it is the thing to do.  Whether this is fashion or not, grace turns it upside down.  Not only is career, from the standpoint of grace, a mighty joke—for a career spits you out as rapidly as it sucks you in—and not only is it dominated overwhelmingly by the principle of law as it fixes your path, but grace declares that real ‘work’ is created only when it springs from belovedness.  Grace declares the end of all ‘career paths’ that envisage a concrete goal…For when work is produced from natural desire and motive, rather than from the idea of actions resulting in proposed consequences, the best work is done” (72-73).  This sounds counterintuitive because it is, for a life of grace is not confined to and defined  by a “career path” but rather the freedom of the grace of God.  Jesus never commanded us to follow a “career path” but rather to follow Him—as the very first words and very last words scripture records Jesus telling the Apostle Peter are exactly the same: “Follow me” (Mark 1:16-17 and John 21:19).

Love and Prayers,