By John Pierce

It not unusual to see or hear a promotion to honor a certain profession: teaching, law enforcement, nursing, etc. Indeed there are persons within those professions who deserve our gratitude.

Blanket recognitions, however, may be too encompassing. Persons rather than professions per se make the difference.

Some teachers engage students in the learning process in such ways that impact the rest of the students’ lives. Some police serve in fair and sacrificial ways to better their communities. Some nurses provide competent care in times of great need. 

Some don’t. And the principle applies to vocations of all kinds.

Surely some professions may be considered to be nobler than others in that they call for particular risks or unique commitments. But it takes a lot of different kinds of work to keep society moving well.

Within the wide range of vocational choices we encounter competent and committed persons whose good work enriches our lives in simple to remarkable ways. It’s not the job as much as the particular persons doing the work well.

My gratitude is high for those particular elementary teachers who pounded in grammar at an early age — for those nice people who crank up the ovens and coffee pots at Panera early each morning to make my work more productive — for the surgeon who put my shattered wrist back together this summer — for the… It’s an endless list.

Vocation doesn’t mean job. It means calling.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV)

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