A Declaration: I Love what I Do but its not what I Love most!!

by Anna Blanch on August 20, 2009

This post is partially a followup to an earlier post – “Passion, vocation, calling, and finidng a Job you actually like” though it has been in the works for some time. See the end of the post for other related Goannatree posts.


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I love what I do!

I also make a
Declaration of Dependence
.

I love teaching and spending time with students (and seeing them develop and grow intellectually), I love research and presenting my research, I enjoy reading and learning and discovering and thinking, I love making my brain work to its outer limits, I love the aha! moments amidst stacks of old books, and the sense of relief when something is finished.

I don’t love everything. I don’t love reading work into which no effort has gone – it takes me just as long and just as much effort to read a bad paper as much as a good paper (actually a bad paper takes longer to grade than an outstanding paper). I don’t enjoy being stuck in a room at a desk by myself for hours and hours on end – I am a naturally social person! I don’t love feeling frustrated when i am not writing well, and I don’t love feeling like there are not enough hours in the day, everyday, for months upon end.

And more importantly, as much as I love what I do…..I Love God more!

I don’t make that statement without wanting to also say, please don’t think i am overspiritualising things. But, know also that I am serious. It matters more to me that my life, and my vocation are an outpouring of my relationship with God rather than me clinging to a vocation and hoping I can find time to fit God in. I have said for a while that I am not interested
in a publish or perish merely for the sake of achieving job security. I understand that practically speaking employment security and a higher salary are good enough reasons to be a fan. But, i can’t see how it (tenure) will be something that I am going to seek.

I am one of those people who can be accused of being an overachiever and it was the case growing up that the way teachers and others would describe me was most often “self motivated.” I have a natural inclination to want to be very good at whatever it is that I am doing. Excellence is not a bad thing. Indeed, Colossians says in all that you do in word and deed, do it for the glory of God. I just want to remain open to God’s plans for me. I am not sure that that involves being in the one place for the rest of my life. I am not necessarily sure that it even involves teaching in the college context for the rest of my career.

Some of your comments on the previous post were illuminating and this is a conversation I hope you will join me in continuing.

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Anna Blanch is the founder of Goannatree, She is also writing a PhD dissertation in Theology and Literature at the University of St Andrews, Scotland.

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