One of the best recent books on the relationship of creation, calling, and culture is Andy Crouch’s Culture Making. In the chapter entitled “Cultivation and Creation,” Crouch goes back to Genesis 1-2 and parallels the work aims of agricultural with the work aims of any creative work in culture.
“Cultivation in the world of culture is not so different from cultivation in the world of nature. One who cultivates tries to create the most fertile conditions for good things to survive and thrive. Cultivating also requires weeding–sorting out what does and does not belong, what will bear fruit and what will choke it out. Cultivating natural things requires long and practiced familiarity with plants and their place; cultivating cultural things requires careful attention to the history of our culture and to the current threats and opportunities that surround it. Cultivation is conservation–ensuring that the world we leave behind, whether natural or cultural, has at least as many possibilities and at least as much excellence as the one we inherited.”
The applications of this paragraph are legion–church, family, even our own hearts.