Calling and the Christian Life | Episode 2
Editors Note: This is part 2 of the introduction to Concerning This Concept of “Calling” which is the first chapter in The Four Callings of William Carey. Dr. Roger D. Duke explores the question, "What is our calling?" Dr. Roger D. Duke serves as the Scholar-in-Residence at Stage & Story.
This is a continuation of Duke's conversation exploring our "calling." If you have yet to read the first installment, you can find it here: Part I.
This sense of vocation for community’s sake seems lost to the 21st Century mind, however. Contrast Luther’s community schemata with David Brooks’ observations about present-day views of vocation and work. Brooks believes for a life to be considered “good” the person ought to organize it around the idea of vocation.
When someone endeavors to use their work to serve only themselves, they will always find personal ambitions and expectations will go unfulfilled. Personally, they will hardly find any sense of satisfaction and contentment they seek.
If you serve a community alone, you will always wonder if people really appreciate you. And if your intrinsically compelling work focuses you on excellence, you will serve self and the community only in an indirect way.
Brooks summarizes: “A vocation is not found by looking within and finding your passion. One can find it by looking without and asking what life is asking of us. What problem is addressed by any activity you intrinsically enjoy.” 
CONFRONTING OUR SELF-SEEKING ETHOS
It seems he understands our present milieu where one performs his vocation for personal fulfillment or for other internal motives. Callings exercised not necessarily for the greater good of community, although this might be a secondary outcome or byproduct.
Conversely in Lutheran thought, every station where God placed someone with a task, was their personal vocation done for the neighbor. Brooks understands, even if one endeavors to serve the community; s/he may do it with only a personal desire to acknowledge external appreciation, laud, or reward. 
And at best, if one seeks to be excellent at their vocation, the person may only want to realize a higher sense of “self-worth.” Luther focused on the community at-large. Brooks comprehends the 21st Century individual ethos as self-seeking and employing vocation to further that end.
GOD'S IN THE DETAILS
Luther was not the only reformer to speak of calling. He was the progenitor, the first to tease out this theology of vocation. His writings became the foundation for the doctrine. Then came John Calvin who built upon his predecessor Luther.
Calvin believed, “God’s sovereign purposes govern the simplest occupation. He attends to everyone’s work.”