Exactly one year ago, I sojourned in a monastery in Kentucky for a weekend of silence, prayer, and meditation. Why? I had many questions about work and wanted answers. Was I in the right line of work (digital design)? Was it really what I wanted to be doing? Should I pursue something else? I tried not to get my hopes up that I would return with answers.
While there, I read Tim Keller’s Every Good Endeavor. In it, he distills the Biblical view of work. Two key points stood out and helped guide my thoughts:
1. View yourself as a garden to be cultivated.
Of the talents and gifts that you’ve been given, which have the most potential to be developed? For example, I can play the piano well, but is my gifting such that I could develop enough to play professionally? In my case, probably not. My most potential-laden gift is probably design. I should do my best to cultivate and develop it.
2. View work as a way to help other people.
Work is the primary way in which we serve others. What are the implications? Keller makes it practical: If you have a choice between a job that helps more people but pays less money and a job that pays more money but helps less people, you should seriously consider taking the job that helps more people.
Meditating on these two ideas brought me to a realization: Design is my foremost gifting, and I should pursue design work that truly helps other people.
Suddenly, I had clarity. Design in the digital space not only afforded me the opportunity to develop my skills the most, but to impact the most people. I could now take steps in the right direction. All that was left was to put one foot in front of the other.