Vacation, Vocation, and Avocation

I am just home from a week’s vacation in Santa Barbara. I live close to the desert here in southern California where summer temperatures are regularly over 100 degrees.

The cool breezes blowing off the ocean at Santa Barbara refreshed both body and soul. One night walking on the wharf we were actually shivering from the cold. It was great.

Vacations can provide you with several things—refreshment, rest, a change of pace, extended time with the family, and simply fun that can be squeezed out in the daily responsibilities of life. For some they may be a break from the day-to-day grind, stresses and decisions associated with work.

When vacations provide real re-creation, rather than simply distracting recreation, they can give you a taste of that Sabbath rest and refreshment which will be yours in the new heaven and new earth.

Your vocation, the call of God to your place of work, can also be a taste of what is to come. If you love your work, the joy you experience in filling your days with what you are passionate about, will only increase in the new heaven and new earth. But what if you don’t love your job?  There are several options you might consider:

  • Changing your job to work in the area of your passion (possible for some, not possible for others, even though for those for whom it is possible it involves risk)
  • Changing your perspective (finding the meaning in your work; see my blog Expanding Your Vocational Horizon)
  • Changing your focus (live in the light of the coming blessings realizing there will always be futility in work now; seek to deepen your hope and live in light of it)
  • Changing your path (pursuing your passion as an avocation—see below)

Since my view of the afterlife does not include cloud-riding harp players but meaningful industry in the work of God before the face of God in the new heaven and new earth, I see all believers eventually headed for satisfying and significant work minus all futility.

If you are not in love with your vocation, you may be able to pursue your passion as an avocation which is defined as a calling away; something in addition to a principal occupation. I like this definition because it speaks of a “calling” like a vocation but a calling in a different direction. Do you want to be a writer? A musician? A builder? A horticulturalist? A [you fill in blank]? What can you do this week to take a first step toward making this your avocation? How can you incorporate your interest into your schedule?

Working in your area of passion helps you to more clearly see the glory in the grind!


About Dr. John H. Harbison

Son of God, Husband, Father, Author of "Keeping Christ in Ministry,"Vice-President for Academic Affairs, College Pastor, Runner, Writer
This entry was posted in Vocation and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Vacation, Vocation, and Avocation

  1. I agree most definitely, working in our area of passion helps us to more clearly see the glory in the everyday grind of life!

  2. True, Dee. Thanks for your comment.

  3. Appreciate it for helping out, good info .

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