Jerry Seinfeld and Vocation
I love Jerry Seinfeld's latest project. It's a web-based series called, "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" and features exactly what the title says. It's Seinfeld with some of the world's best comedians driving around in unique cars and having some incredibly funny and surprisingly profound conversations over coffee. You need to check it out. The finale features a conversation with Michael Richards, aka Kramer. At the 13:40 mark they begin a dialogue about the point and purpose of their past work on Seinfeld. In their exchange Jerry offers a spot-on understanding of the doctrine of vocation--not that he'd summarize it that way.
Jerry looks at Richards and says, "Personal enjoyment wasn't [our primary] job. Our job was not to make sure that we enjoyed it but to make sure they [the audience] enjoyed it." At that moment a lightbulb goes off in Richard's head. "Yes. I think I worked selfishly, not selflessly. It's not about us. It's about them."
"When we overlook the people we're there to serve in our jobs we are missing the point entirely."
This is the doctrine of vocation. Our jobs are not about our personal fulfillment, they are about the blessing of our neighbors. When we ask our jobs to fulfill us we are making them into idols and seeking from them what can and should come only from God. Likewise, when we overlook the people we're there to serve in our jobs we are missing the point entirely, making them into objects there to feed our need for affirmation--which, again, is wrong.
We are free to pursue countless jobs, careers, and callings in this world. But we must never forget that although our jobs bless us, they are not ultimately about us. They are about our neighbor and what the God of the universe has waiting for them through our hands.
"…You were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:14 ESV
Watch the full episode HERE. I suggest you fast forward to 13:40.