Updated: January 16, 2013 1:48PM
When talking about vocations, most people assume it only refers to ordained ministry or the religious life.
But everyone has a vocation in life. Some would call it their life’s work or their passion. Others might say it’s their career or profession, such as medicine or teaching.
Vocations don’t even need to be tied to a paycheck. My friend, Marie, and her husband, Roy, faithfully visit the sick and homebound in our parish weekly. They’re committed to what they do and the people they visit.
And, they clearly have been gifted with a bounty of care and compassion that makes this a true vocation for them.
I’ve toyed with many vocations throughout my life. When I was much younger, I wanted to be an airplane pilot. At one point, I thought I might work in the medical field. Six weeks of summer work in a nursing home showed that was not going to happen anytime soon.
There was even a time when I toyed with becoming an attorney. But, after some serious reflection, I decided I was more interested in learning about the law than actually being a practicing lawyer.
The bottom line is, my vocation always has been writing and, I hope over the years, I have struck a note with at least a few people.
Determining the talents we have been given and deciding how best to use them is, after all, part of life’s journey. What has been your vocation in life?
Alexa Pradnor, Dyer: “Music has always been my gift and my passion. I knew I didn’t want to just perform or teach, but wanted to use music to help people heal.
“Then, a couple of years ago, I read a book about music therapy, and it all came together. I hope to start my degree in music therapy at Arizona State (University) next year.”
Barbie Costanza, Munster: “I became a nurse, just like my mother and my grandmother before me.
“Growing up and listening to them talk about their careers made such a positive impression on me. Mom would come home, even after working a double, yet she would be so upbeat about her day.
“Even at those times when she lost a patient, she was able to say how good it felt to be there, even if only to comfort someone — be a presence — in their last hours. I’ve been doing this for over 15 years, and I never get tired of what I do.”
Dan Kovacheff, Merrillville: “My job’s not terribly exciting — I sit behind a desk all day — but I work hard and appreciate that I even have a job.
“However, I guess what I could say is my calling is woodworking. As a boy, I would stand close by and watch my grandpa create all these beautiful things out of wood — furniture, carvings, bowls, utensils — and I thought it was the neatest thing anyone could do.
“Slowly, he started to teach me how to use the tools — how to look at a piece of wood and see the possibilities. When he died about 10 years ago, he left me all his tools. I’m not as good as he was, but I keep trying to get better.”