Economics 101 & Public Square

We Work to Change the World

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Have you ever thought, “It’s just a job!”?

Have you ever been in the middle of your day, stressed out and in a panic over what you need to do, and begin to wonder why you even care? I mean, it’s just a job, right?

It’s certainly important to “not sweat the small stuff.” In our fast-paced, multi-tasking world it’s easy to let the little things become big worries, which is not what God wants for us.

It’s easy to become a slave to our work and our routine and to let it control us. We know this is not biblical either. But your work is never “just a job.” If we are pursuing God’s will for our lives, we know that our work matters and has eternal impact.

Vocation & Markets

Oz Guinness, in his book The Call, reminds us that our primary call is to be a disciple of Christ and, out of that call flows four secondary callings:

  • Family
  • Church
  • Community
  • Vocation

Most of us spend the majority of our waking hours working. This is part of the vocational call God places on our lives. In this we have a huge opportunity to make an impact on the world by putting our God-given gifts and talents to work. Our work is a call by God to change the world. Work is an area where we regularly serve others.

Part of the beauty of modern, global markets is that new opportunities constantly arise for us to use our vocation to serve others. Market trade brings us into a global tapestry with one another. We can’t see what it looks like from our own little spot, but we bring something unique to the table which makes the tapestry rich and beautiful. One single thread can’t make a tapestry, but the final product emerges in connection with others that might be different in color, size, and strength.

How Markets Help Us Serve Others through Vocation

Global markets rely on countless people from many cultures to work. Markets work because they rely on the qualities that God wove into creation and into each of us: uniqueness and dignity. We each have something special to offer the world through our gifts and skills because he created us with different talents, preferences, and callings. Markets harness that creativity and purpose.

As global markets grow, more job opportunities present themselves. This means more people have greater opportunities to use their gifts to serve others. This week’s video, I, Smartphone, is a great explanation of this process, of how markets harness thousands of people across the globe to make the goods and services we rely on, including the smart phone.

The smartphone is relatively new technology. Thirty years ago, only the very richest people could afford a cell phone. Those phones couldn’t do anything close to what your smartphone can do today, and they cost much more.

The cell phone that you depend on today is the fruition of hundreds of years of innovation and human creativity. Cell phones come with many delicate parts that come from across the globe and require a vast diversity of skills. The best part is that cell phones create jobs, in addition to providing greater convenience and helping you be more productive.

The advent of cell phone technology requires numerous affiliated specialists and services including:

  • Cell phone tower climbers
  • Smartphone testers
  • Customer service support
  • Technicians

This list just scratches the surface of the many required jobs and skills necessary to continue to make cell phone better and cheaper. A recent search on listed 5,267 jobs just related to the cell phone industry!

We haven’t even talked about cell phone cases, chargers, earphones, and belt clips among hundreds of other accessories that make your phone more convenient for you. Only a sophisticated and widespread market can bring us the need for all of these jobs and services.

The current pace of technology is faster than ever before in human history. We have no idea what is coming next. This is the beauty of the modern market: it is a bastion of creativity and entrepreneurship, and it allows us to answer the call to vocation in ways we never before imagined.

How can you make an impact through your work? 

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