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John Bressler - Find what God has called you to do
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John Bressler

John Bressler-120911

Listen to John Bressler's column about how God calls us to our true vocation.

       I believe it was Confucius who is reported to have said, "Find a job you love, and you will never work again!" I don't know about you, but this rings so true for me as I always had a job that I couldn't wait to get to, wanted to hang around after work just to look over the place and went home feeling that I had put in a good day.
       Now, don't get me wrong. I certainly don't mean that every day was a walk in the park. I've had my fanny chewed out so many times that when I was called on the carpet, I would just back into the office so my boss had an easy target. There were many times when I received little or no recognition for a job well done, and I have been passed over for promotions I thought I deserved. In management training, I have swept enough floors to fill a stadium, cleaned bathrooms until they would shine, and while working in my first department, put thousands of pairs of shoes on feet that still give me nightmares.
       The biggest shock to my system was knowing I had to wait two weeks until I received my first pa check. Julie and I lived like hermits through those 14 days, and we felt like millionaires when that paycheck was deposited.
       In case you think I have overlooked - as the Bible so wonderfully states - "the one who completes me," Julie had her first teaching job in the next county and drove through sleet, snow, mud slides and back roads to get to her school. But Julie loved it and couldn't wait to see the children who loved her in return. I know she had her share of goofy parents - none in Bulloch County - and she could snap her kids in line with a look that can still take paint off a wall. Just between us, folks, teachers never lose "the look" and I am paint free. You should see the smile on her face when young adults stop her on the street and say, "Mrs. Bressler, I am a teacher because of you" or "I became a scientist because of those classes you taught." We were walking around a farm one day when a huge young man drove up on his tractor, stopped, jumped off, hugged Julie and said, "Remember me? I was in your class."
       Julie hugged him in return and said, "How could I forget you!"
       I know Julie would say to anyone, "Of course, I worked hard, and I certainly put in some long days. Any teacher will tell you that, and it was the parent's school, but it was my classroom and I loved it!"
       I am writing in very general terms, but it appears to be a common misconception that higher education is to get more money and any degree is a passport to a cushy job. Wrong! Education - and I don't believe in lower education - is for the purpose of discovery: "So that's truth! This is how things are created, made, used, improved and shared! Now I know how to do good research and how to think critically and how to take action that will help and not harm!"
       I will never forget the time when I walked into a classroom and there sat a young man in tears. He told me he was about to graduate as an engineer and I began talking about the trauma of leaving school, friends and most students have concerns. "That's not my problem! I don't want to be an engineer! Years ago, I read an article that said engineers were at the top of the income bracket and that was just fine because I wanted to make money! I don't want to be an engineer. I want to be a cook!"
       Our good friend and apostle, Paul, writes about vocation. Vocation, by the way, comes from the Latin word vocare, which means "a calling." He writes, "Not many of you are called to this work or that work." I believe he is stating that we are to find what God has called us to do and just do it to the best of our ability and for the rest of our life.
       Maybe that's what being a Christian means. "Find what God has called you to do, which is to love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, soul and mind and your neighbor as yourself, and you'll never work again."

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