One of my youngest son’s notebooks from school contains this inspirational cover:

We are: Explorers, learners, artists, creative, writers, friends, kind, scientists, dreamers, musicians, athletes, thinkers, readers.

What’s missing from this list?

The things that will dominate proper adulthood: (future) husbands, (future) wives, (future) mothers, (future) fathers, citizens, employees, debtors, servants, soldiers (maybe).

Now I think it’s great to encourage kids. Everything on that notebook cover is good. But when do you break the news to them about all the stuff that isn’t on the cover? Not too soon to taint childhood with grown up worries, but soon enough to prepare them for those challenges, which require serious endurance.

It seems like we still need a much better popular theology of vocation in our churches here in the USA. The dominant voices continue to be either overly dewy-eyed or hyper-cynical. I know some wise people regularly take a stab at it, but it still needs work.