職場的呼召(第一部分)

By Rudolfs Danis Smits

明白我們的能力和天分以及職業的目標是自我實現的基礎。神會用我們的學歷、職業、文化、語言、天賦和學習的技能來服事和祝福我們所在的社會。我們不必去找特別的方法來尋找神以及順服祂的命令。歐斯.金氏(Os Guinness)在他的書「呼召」當中寫著: 我們只需要當我們自己,並且回應神成為神要我們成為的人就可以了。明白自己的職業、呼召會改變我們,來服事和使社會興旺。

1989年,拉脫維亞還是蘇聯的一部分時,當時我有兩個難得的機會可以去那裡工作和服事。第一個選擇:跟著教會資助的船到拉脫維亞做人道救援。第二個選擇:跟十二個木匠義工到那裏去蓋教會,這是由文化事工(Culture Ministry)所主辦的活動,它是一個非宗教性質的協會,目標是要修復破舊的教堂。身為一個建築師、木匠和建造工人,我選了第二個活動,因為這個活動最適合我的天賦、所學、經驗和技能。

在1990年代早期,拉脫維亞的商業溝通倫理已經成熟了。但在前蘇聯社會主義的環境之下運作一個遵守商業職場倫理的呼召,對每一個生意人和專業人士來說都是一個很大的挑戰。這個邀請是很特別的,因為不是由教會或神職人員來解決這個問題,而是由值得信賴的商場人士在職場中服事。

沒有人比那些商業和專業人士更適合做這樣的工作了,他們要透過生活來示範和教導神對工作的要求及準則。單單了解自己和明白我們是誰是不夠的,我們必須問自己要如何使用原本所擁有的?

將近2000年前,耶穌要我們跟隨祂。試著了解和遵守這個命令是人類史上最能激勵人、又使人疑惑,卻能改變人心和歷史的一句話。這個命令如同照在黑暗的中的明亮光線,改變一觸即發。「光照在黑暗裏,黑暗卻不接受光。」(約翰福音1章5節)無論是在拉脫維亞或者是世界上其他的地方,如果能夠回應、遵守這句話,生命將會改變,家庭、社會、教育會重新排序,職場也會被轉化。

明白自己的職業呼召讓我們自由地「成為」和「轉化」成我們想要成為的人。工作不容易,因為每天在職場都有問題要解決以及需要幫助的人。沒有人比已經在職場工作的人更適合做職場事工、完成職場的呼召。人都是普通和不完美的,但是因為責任和潛在的影響以及社會的益處,每個人都需要更多的塑造。神對人的命定也是要治理。「神就賜福給他們,又對他們說:「要生養眾多,遍滿地面,治理這地,也要管理海裏的魚、空中的鳥,和地上各樣行動的活物。」(創世記1章28節)

明白自己的職業呼召,會轉化我們的工作、給我們的事工空間、異象以及目標。歐斯.金氏(Os Guinness)曾說過: 偉大的基督徒運動會興起和衰落;偉大的活動也會有高山和低谷。但是這些活動的總合都不及無數跟隨耶穌的門徒每天忠實地活出他們的呼召,所帶給這個多元化複雜的社會影響來的大。正如所羅門王評論天賦所說的:「人的禮物為他開路,引他到高位的人面前。」(箴言18章16節)

[email protected]版權所有 魯道夫.丹尼斯.史密特 前企業主,目前是席爾國際企業的設計師和科技部經理。席爾國際為規劃和建築風險管理顧問公司。他也是CBMC拉脫維亞的創始會員以及理事會成員、波羅地海改革宗神學院創始成員以及前亞洲CBMC理事會成員。

省思與問題討論

歐斯.金氏(Os Guinness)曾說:「呼召不只表現出我們身為一個人存在的意義、我們的作為,也反映出神希望我們成為的樣子。」古代希臘人曾問了一個關於人存在的問題: 人為什麼活著?今天,我們還是問一樣的問題。「我如何去完成自己的目標,我如何活出神在我身上的計畫?」關於這兩個問題,你會如何回答? 呼召是很有影響力的。明白你的人生目標會改變你自己、你的家和你的生意。你如何定義自己的職業?把工作當成只是工作和透過工作完成服事有甚麼不同,分享你的答案。 知道你有從神而來特別的天賦和能力改變了你生活的哪些部分?你知道有那些人因為有從神而來的呼召,而發現了或是培養了自己的天賦或能力嗎? 歐斯.金氏(Os Guinness)說: 「沒有比發現和使用自己的天賦時更快樂的事了。」明白自己的職場呼召和人生目的能改變你對工作和人生的看法嗎?你工作和生活的動力是甚麼?你的工作和職業展現了你是誰、你的訓練以及神希望你能成為的那個人嗎?

備註: 如果你手上有聖經,希望知道更多關於這個主題的經文,請參考:以弗所書4章1節;帖撒羅尼迦後書1章11節;提摩太後書1章9節;彼得後書1章3、10節

THE BUSINESS OF CALLING (Part 1)

By Rudolfs Dainis Smits

Discovering our abilities and talents, and realizing our professional desires, are critical to personal fulfillment. God will use our education, vocation, culture, language, gifts and learned skills to serve and bless the society we live in. We do not have to seek extraordinary means to find and obey God”s command. Os Guinness, in his book, The Call, writes we simply need to be who we are and to become who we are in response to God”s gracious invitation. Understanding vocation – our calling – will change us and serve to prosper society.

In 1989, Latvia was still part of the Soviet Union, and I was presented with two worthy options to work and serve there. Option 1: Make the journey to Latvia with a denomination-sponsored mission ship to help distribute humanitarian aid. Option 2: Join a team of 12 carpenters and volunteer workers to reconstruct a church. This second option was organized by the Ministry of Culture, a secular organization, to reconstruct a dilapidated church building. Being an architect, experienced carpenter and construction worker, I chose the second proposal. This opportunity best suited my gifts, education, experience and skills.

In the early 1990s, Latvia was ripe for communicating sound ethical principles and introducing just business practices. The challenge to operate an ethical business in a post-Soviet environment was confronted by every business owner and professional wanting to make a difference. This invitation was unique and not intended for church clergy to resolve, but entrusted to ordinary business people serving the marketplace.

There were none better situated “to be” and better equipped “to become” than those business people and professionals in the marketplace eager to make a difference by living, demonstrating and teaching God”s principles at work. It is not enough to know and understand who we are. We must ask ourselves, what are we going to do about it?

Nearly 2,000 years ago, Jesus said, “Follow Me.” These words probably comprise the most provocative, bewildering, and most life and history-changing statement humanity has heard, tried to understand and obey. This command intrudes into darkness like a bright light, mandating change. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5). This beckoning invitation, if obeyed, will impact lives, reorder families, society, education, and transform the marketplace, whether in Latvia or anywhere else in the world. In response to Christ”s extraordinary call, our ordinary lives will not remain the same. Nor will they be without purpose.

Discovering our vocation makes you free “to be” and “to become” what we are. Work is messy, with daily problems and people in the marketplace that need help. There is no one better than the businessperson or professional, already in the workplace, to fulfill this call: No one more ordinary and less perfect; no one that needs more shaping because of the responsibility and potential impact on society for good. If we understand our vocation and unique purpose, we can administer, serve and glorify God in our work. God”s mandate to humankind is take dominion – “…Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it,” for good (Genesis 1:28).

Understanding our vocation transforms our work and gives place, vision and purpose for our ministry of service. Os Guinness wrote, “Grand Christian movements will rise and fall. Grand campaigns will be mounted and grand coalitions assembled. But all together such coordinated efforts will never match the influence of untold numbers of followers of Christ living out their callings faithfully across the vastness and complexity of modern society. As King Solomon commented regarding the benefits of practicing one”s talents, “A man's gift makes room for him and brings him before the great” (Proverbs 18:16).

© 2017. Rudolfs Dainis Smits, MATS BArch Dipl. Arch – former business owner; currently design & technical manager for Hill International – Project and Construction Risk management; founding member and board member of CBMC Latvia; founding member of Reformed Baltic Theological Seminary, and former Europartners board member.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

Os Guinness writes, “Calling is not only a matter of being and doing what we are but also of becoming what we are not yet but are called by God to be.” The ancient Greeks asked the existential question: What is my purpose? Today, we ask the same question about our existence. What purpose do I fulfill, and in what way does my life have a part in God”s plan? How would you answer the question, “What am I to be, and what am I to do?” Calling is effectual, and knowing your purpose will change you, your business and family. How would you define your vocation? What is the difference between just working, and serving with purpose through our work? What has changed in your life, knowing that you have particular gifts and abilities from God? Do you know anyone that has changed, developed, or discovered his or her abilities and gifting as a response to answering God”s call on their lives? Guinness says, “Somehow we human beings are never happier than when we are expressing the deepest gifts that are truly us.” Has understanding your vocation and purpose changed your work and life? What motivates your work and service? Do your work and vocation align with who you are, your training, and the desire to become all that God wants you to be?

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages: Ephesians 4:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:11; 2 Timothy 1:9; 2 Peter 1:3,10

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