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November 14 , 2008

Finding Livelihood

A Progress of Work and Leisure


When we were young, they asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up. Those answers were our childhood dreams. The reality of adulthood is that what we are and do now is what we became. 

Finding Livelihood is a book about work for grown-ups. It’s about not just the work we thought we wanted but about the work we found and the work that found us. It’s also about the work we have lost.

At once a shrewd challenge of Buechner’s assertion that “the place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet” and also a lyrical journey to the place where labor and love meet, Finding Livelihood explores the tensions between the planned life and the given, between desire and need, between aspirations and limits.

Through story, collage, and juxtaposition, Finding Livelihood invites you to consider work in its many facets. Who gets to decide if our work is “good”? How do we deal with forces and routines that leave us longing for escape? How do questions about money and meaning change when you are holding a pink slip in your hand? How are we transformed when our current work becomes part of a spiritual journey that encompasses all of life?

Drawing from thinkers as diverse as St. Aquinas, Josef Pieper, and Simone Weil, Nordenson affirms the doctrine of imago Dei and brings it into the real world of work: a world full of brokenness and hope, of dead-end jobs and live-saving interventions, of daily bread and transcendent meaning. In the midst of it all, we find our livelihood.

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