Greetings, Fellow NACSW Members!
As a confirmed Night Owl, I find that I do my best work in the evenings. In fact, I operate best between 10 PM – and roughly 12:30 AM. Sadly, I have been unable to convince the powers that be that workdays should be so flexible. So, I left the world of the 9-5 workday and began an incredible entrepreneurial journey almost two years ago. This journey has been the most frightening – yet thrilling – pursuit of my life. Why would I subject myself to this kind of roller coaster ride, you ask? It’s simple. The work that I do is not simply a job. It is my vocation. It is my calling in this life. It is the reason I was put on this planet.
“Vocation” is defined by the dictionary as a particular occupation, business, or profession; a calling; a strong impulse or inclination to follow a particular activity or career; a divine call to God’s service or to the Christian life; a function or station in life to which one is called by God. The reason I am happy to spend many long hours building a business and teaching social work students is because it is my vocation. When we are driven by our vocation, everything changes. So, let me ask you: are you about this business of being about your business?
One of my very favorite teachers was Jack Boland. Jack was the founding minister of The Church of Today in Detroit, Michigan. In one of his lessons on goal-setting, Jack said that he had been at rest from moving his life forward for too long and he said, “I need to be about this business of being about my business.” Jack was the very epitome of fulfilling his vocation in this life. He went into the ministry later in life and lived out his vocation until the day he died. In his lessons, Jack often used his favorite quote by a man named Richard Fillmore who would pop out of bed in the morning and say, “I fairly sizzle with zeal and enthusiasm as I spring forth with a mighty faith to do the things that ought to be done by me!”
Is this how you feel about your role as a social worker? If not, why not? Colossians 3:17 says, “And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father” (NLT). Is this how you operate as you face the daily grind and wade through the mud and the muck of each day as a social worker? I would encourage you to examine your professional life and if you are not springing out of bed every morning with the zeal and enthusiasm Richard Fillmore talked about, ask yourself why. Our Heavenly Father has given you the skill set to be a social worker…now go glorify Him with it! Blessings to you as you live out your vocation!
Melissa O., DHEd, LMSW-IPR, MPH, CHES, is President and Professor-In-Practice of Health Education Resources Network, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Social Work for Tarleton State University. Melissa has been a member of NACSW since 2011.