The concept of one's calling has far too long been limited to individuals who pursue professional careers within a particular congregation or Christian institution. Furthermore, a person's vocation has also been reduced to one's means to receive a paycheck and pass time between the hours of nine and five. Yet, both calling and vocation are deeply integrated with one another; they are limited neither to the stole nor the pay stub. Instead, each of us has a calling that stems from God's good gift of a Christ-centered vocation. Frederick Buechner says it this way:
"Like 'duty,' 'law,' and 'religion,' the word 'vocation' has a dull ring to it, but in terms of what it means, it is really not dull at all. Vocare, 'to call,' of course, and our vocation is our calling. It is the work that we are called to in this world, the thing that we are summoned to spend our lives doing. We can speak of ourselves as choosing our vocations, but perhaps it is at least as accurate to speak of our vocations choosing us, of a call's being given and lives our hearing it, or not hearing it...And in the end that is the vocation of all of us, the calling to be Christs. To be Christs in whatever way we are able to be. To be Christs with whatever gladness we have and in whatever place, among whatever brother we are called to. That is the vocation, the destiny to which we were all of us called even before the foundations of the world."
---"The Calling of Voices," Secrets in the Dark, pp. 37, 40