Calling is truly one of life’s great mysteries. Given the current cross-cultural milieu around terms like vocation and calling, it’s important to remember that these terms have a historically theological implication. Christianity has carried out the idea that our lives count for something because God created us with intention and had direction in mind for each of us. Today, Christians tend to look for a definition of calling or vocation that fits somewhere between just an occupation, and a voice from heaven that gives specific direction on what one is to do with their life.
In his article, “Spirituality in the Workplace: Source of a Calling, Levels of Living a Calling, Job Satisfaction, and Life Satisfaction Among Indian and Ugandan Leaders”, Fred Wantaate reminds us that exploring the faith component of calling is one of the most important areas of research in the coming years. Wantaante points out that a great deal of the literature and research on calling centers around how individuals might find a calling, no matter the culture. He postulates that there are three prominent views regarding the source of a calling: “(a) an external source, (b) a destiny, and (c) a perfect fit for one’s interests, values, and skills.” While these three sources are different, there is literature that shows that the differences between the sources of calling is negligible in terms of living out one’s own calling, job satisfaction, or overall life satisfaction. The point of Wantaate’s work in this article is to illustrate the cultural difference in calling between those in India and those in Uganda. Given the cultural difference between the two, it was interesting to compare and contrast the literature around the Western world and calling as well.
In the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic tradition adopted the previously Protestant idea that any job can be a vocation. In contemporary Western society however, some believe another shift is taking place. The idea that any career or job could be a vocation has come to be viewed as a burden. Since the development of the assembly-line, work doesn’t always belong to the worker. Employees are no longer feeling fulfilled by a craft, but disconnected from an actual calling to work.
Ultimately, a connection to calling in our work is important, no matter what culture you may find yourself in. Wantaante found that now, “The question that, more than ever, needs to be answered, ‘How can managers and human resource personnel redesign joys and tasks in ways that foster a sense of calling?’”, is incredibly critical. This is work is most evident as we look at the next generations. How are we setting generations up to believe truths about their calling, not untruths about who they are in society? While we should definitely acknowledge that culture plays a significant role in understanding calling and the living out of ones calling, we remember that calling and vocation originally come from a theological perspective. Frederick Beuchner is often quoted for his view on vocation. He says that God has called us, “To the kind of work that (a)that you need most to do and (b) that the world most needs to have done…The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” Beuchner’s kind of calling here is the kind of calling that transcends culture. Having a strong theological framework around calling is what grounds us, and reminds us that we are part of something bigger, something deeper, something outside ourselves – and that’s the kind of calling I want to live in to.
 William C. Placher, ed. Callings: Twenty Centuries of Christian Wisdom on Vocation (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2005), 3.
 Fred Wantaante, “Spirituality in the Workplace: Source of a Calling, Levels of Living a Calling, Job Satisfaction, and Life Satisfaction Among Indian and Ugandan Leaders,” Theology of Leadership Journal 1, no. 1 (2018): 50, http://theologyofleadership.com/index.php/tlj/issue/view/v1i1/v1i1
 Ibid., 50.
 Ibid., 50.
 Ibid., 50.
 William C. Placher, ed. Callings: Twenty Centuries of Christian Wisdom on Vocation (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2005), 8.
 Fred Wantaante, “Spirituality in the Workplace: Source of a Calling, Levels of Living a Calling, Job Satisfaction, and Life Satisfaction Among Indian and Ugandan Leaders,” Theology of Leadership Journal 1, no. 1 (2018): 62 http://theologyofleadership.com/index.php/tlj/issue/view/v1i1/v1i1
 Greg Lukinoff and Jonathan Haidt, The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting Up a Generation for Failure, (New York: Penguin Press, 2018), 4
 Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC (New York: Harper and Row, 1973), 95.