Tomatoes and Tears

It happened when I was in a dead spot in my occupational life. I was working as a cook in a restaurant that I enjoyed working in and had enjoyed being a part of when something shifted. As I was cutting tomatoes and prepping food for the rush, I had this thought, “I am meant for so much more than this.” It was in that moment I decided I was done chasing jobs and I was going to pursue my vocation.

As created human beings we have a purpose instilled within us that provides us with our deepest meaning, deepest gladness, and our deepest joy (Hughes, 2005). It is a part of our identity that informs every other aspect of our lives and around which every other aspect of our lives can be integrated (Hughes, 2005). The sad reality is that so many people never identify their vocation, and if they do, they are never able to transition from their job to their vocation and live a life short of what they were created to be (Sweeney, 2013). This is a tragedy.

Yahweh has created us with a purpose. In scripture, it is revealed that God had a vocation for Jeremiah, the Hebrew prophet before he was ever born (Jer.1:5). Though Jeremiah’s life was challenging from an outside perspective, we can trust that there was a deep sense of fulfillment and satisfaction for him despite his difficulties. So, the question looms, how can we identify our vocational calling for our lives.

As a very simplistic approach, vocation is the cross-section of our passions and our talents. Both are instilled within us by our creator and our lives should be spent pursuing these two treasures and where they intersect. When we live out our God-given talents and passions, we live fulfilled lives of vocation.


Hughes, R. T., & Hughes, R. T. (2005). The vocation of the Christian scholar: how Christian faith can sustain the life of the mind (Rev. ed). Grand Rapids, Mich: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co.

Sweeney, T. (2013). Against Ideology: Gabriel Marcel’s Philosophy of Vocation. Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture, 16(4), 179–203.

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