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Daily WOW: Umpires, A Personal Vocation

Jeff Isom-CC

The Daily Catch - published on 05/17/16

Slate has a great piece up about the process of becoming a baseball umpire. Seth Stevenson dreamed of becoming an ump once his college baseball career revealed that he was not bound for the majors. His description of his feelings can be described as vocational:

I yearned to don the protective equipment and get behind the plate myself. Heck, what if I was a natural? The rewards could be huge: Umpires who make it to the big leagues fly first class, stay in luxe hotels, make mid-six–figure salaries, and appear on TV every night while enjoying an inches-away view of the best baseball in the world. Beats journalism. Alas, I went home. Time passed and life intervened. The dream sank into hibernation. But this January—after more than a decade and a half, and with the help of some new Slate Plus members—it reawakened. I enrolled in the Wendelstedt School like any other student.

The term “vocation” is often associated with religious professions, but vocations are really all about a calling. Perhaps all our lives would be better if we were doing what we felt we were called to do. Russell Shaw writes:

If you think that’s odd, consider a fundamental fact: everybody has a vocation. This is his or her particular role in God’s plan, that life of “good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2/11).

We are unsure why anyone would feel called a vocation in a career that would sometimes make them the most hated person on the field, but when you feel called to jump into the middle of a bench-clearing brawl, all we can do is say WOW!

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