I am thankful for other people’s vocations

Remember the part of the doctrine of vocation that stresses how God is present in vocation. That means that when people serve us, in the course of everyday life and everyday economics, God is serving us through them. We should be grateful to those–in farms and factories and stores and in the family kitchen–who make our Thanksgiving feast. And we should be grateful to God who is providing for us through them and for giving them to us. And God looms behind all of the other people and institutions that bless us.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

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  • Peter Leavitt

    Speaking of giving thanks for vocations, Max Boot reminds us as follows that we need to give thanks to our military men and women serving abroad, especially in the war places of Iraq and Afghanistan:

    Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate with family-and a time to remember those who won’t have that privilege. I am thinking primarily of the 279,825 American service personnel who were, according to official Department of Defense statistics, deployed abroad as of June 30, 2008. Some of them are able to have their families with them — for instance those stationed in Germany. But most are on “unaccompanied” tours, whether in combat zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan, or even in peaceful countries such as South Korea and Japan. (And even many of the troops nominally stationed in Germany are actually in war zones elsewhere.)
    I met a few such soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen while traveling around the Philippines during the past week — part of the roughly 600 personnel deployed as part of Operation Enduring Freedom-Philippines to help the armed forces of the Philippines fight jihadist terrorists.
    As always when spending time with the troops, I was impressed by their professionalism, good humor, and sky-high morale. In places like Iraq and Afghanistan it is a trial to maintain such a positive outlook amid the stress of combat, with its attendant casualties. In the Philippines, the stress comes from the lack of combat and the boredom that can result. In my experience, American troops handle both sorts of challenges better than just about any other armed force that I can think of.
    So as you sit down to supper tomorrow hoist a turkey leg in honor of our gallant and selfless defenders who are enjoying their dinner in a chow hall rather than at home, surrounded probably by close friends but no doubt missing spouses, children, and other family members.

  • FW

    i have been overcoming lonely moments here in brasil by perceiving all who serve me in society as being sent by a loving heavenly father specifically to me. to care for my needs or to watch over me.

  • richard

    I am thankful for your book, “God at Work.” I recently led our men’s study through the book this past year at our small PCA church here in southern Arizona. We were all immensely blessed and excited to re-discover that God is at work through us in our vocations as husbands, dads, and workers, and that He works our sanctification through us in our vocations. Thank you!

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    Well, I’m thankful you and your group did that, Richard!

  • Booklover

    This is going to sound extremely weird but I have always been thankful for the wives of sewer and septic cleaners. Those men have to have their hands in awful places, and their wives wash their clothes, etc. I couldn’t handle it, but thank God for those who do.

  • richard

    OK, Booklover, that is a little weird. But you’re right–this is a vocation!


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