Our vocation is our calling to serve Christ; our occupations are the jobs we do to earn our way in the world. While it is our calling to press our occupations into the service of our vocation, it is idolatrous to equate the two.
I was kneeling on the steps of the chancel with several hands laid on my shoulder. The occasion was my ordination into the ministry, and the pastor was praying a seemingly interminable prayer for God's blessing and power to be upon me. My legs had started to cramp. Sweat was soaking through my black robe, a garment whose origins were in Northern Europe and whose wearer was in Southern California on a balmy May evening. And my knees felt as though they were piercing the scarlet carpet.
Does he think I need more prayer than usual? I thought. Then, as if in answer to my question, he prayed, "Lord, as Ben feels the weight of these hands upon his shoulders, may he feel the weight of what he has been called to do."
"But may he feel also the strength ...1