Making a life (vs. making a living)
Without direction and purpose, life and work can be routine and boring. Life can really be full of pain and work a vexation when we find no meaning in them. Without intent and inspiration, life can be a strain and a struggle.
In a very real way, we become what we do. If you make a living by teaching, you are a teacher. Because I make a living doing priestly ministry, I am a priest. Being a teacher or priest can prove to be too much to bear when our purpose in life is not clear, when our sense of direction is not there, when our set of priorities is not how it should be.
We have to reflect on why and how we make a living, while at the same time trying to achieve what we can term making a life, making our life rich towards God. When we go into the direction of making a life whilemaking a living, we transform work into something that expresses God’s presence in our lives. We have to transform our stewardship trustworthy, as St Paul urges the Corinthians. Making a life is finding the spiritual worth of our activities. When we lose sight of the spiritual dimension of things, they become meaningless.
Our sense of religion is about discovering a new self that has been influenced by Christ who transforms our ordinary lives into extraordinary expressions of love and goodness. Even in the ordinary world of work, a Christian touches the realm of the spiritual and the eternal. Work is sacred when we see it as our collaboration and participation in God’s continuing work of creation. Church or religion is about making a life. Making a living can be a vanity, but making a life is our vocation. Making a life is our response to God’s invitation to share in His life of love and forgiveness. Making a life is finding the connection between religion and reality.
Making a life is striving first for God’s kingdom and His righteousness, trusting that God will provide for the rest. It is seeking the will of God in our lives, instead of seeking our own whims and desires. When we see things, including life itself, as God’s gifts and we are willing to share them gratefully and gracefully, we are on the way to making a life. When we have embarked on making a life, making a living becomes meaningful and fulfilling.