Although yesterday’s post might seem finished, it’s not. I was interrupted five or six times while trying to get my thoughts together, and I finally just thought “good enough” and posted it. The essence, however, of the message seems to be missing, so I’m going to try to correct that in the next few minutes. I say “try” because it’s the end of the semester, and I’ve had a lot of visitors…and inquiries about grades.

According to the scriptures, we each have gifts and we are to cultivate and use those gifts in a way that would best serve God and our fellow human beings. When I look around, I’m amazed at the variety of talents and abilities that people have, and sometimes I’m a little saddened too. Why? Either because people don’t realize how gifted they are, or they do realize it but cannot or will not do what it takes to get into a career that utilizes those abilities.

While it’s true that working is a way of making a living, it can easily become a way of making a life. Everything from the people you associate with, how you spend your time, what you think about, and what you actually do or produce mold and make you into the person you are becoming. Somebody Famous (Thoreau maybe?) once said that most people live lives of quiet desperation, and if that’s true, I think one reason could be that they’re in the wrong career.

When Elizabeth was a teenager and then later a college student, she worked at a variety of jobs including stints at an ice cream and sandwich shop, an eye doctor’s office, and even a day care facility. At one time she thought being a detective might be exciting, and then later she and a friend considered opening a gift shop. However, none of those fields are right for her. As a person who loves to learn and share ideas with others, teaching is perfect for her. Add the fact that she relates well to youngsters, and the profession seems ideal. And did I mention the pace of the academic calendar? She likes that too. Not too many careers allow two weeks off at Christmas, a week during the spring, and summers (if you can afford it).

I’m not exaggerating when I say that EVERYDAY I talk with someone who is unhappy with his or her job. Oh, the person might like the $$$ or the people she works with, but the work itself is not a good match for her. When I suggest changing careers even if it means additional training, most people sort of shrug. “It’s a living,” they say. It’s more than a living; it’s a life, and no one can afford to let fear, ignorance, other people, or lack of motivation hold her back.

I earnestly feel that we’re obligated to find out what our unique gifts are and then use them to improve the lives of others. In case you think I’m referring to only paid vocations, I’m not. Stay-at-home mothers are preparing children for their lives in a way that no one else can. Volunteers provide services to thousands of people. Money isn’t the issue; living your life in accordance with His plan is.