Warren Farha is the owner of Eighth Day Books, the world’s best bookstore bar none. (I make a pilgrimage there every time I go home to Wichita.) In an article in the most recent Basil Leaf, Orthodox Christian Fellowship’s newsletter, Mr. Farha talks about vocation (pdf file: scroll down to file page 6/publication page 14), and what it means to have a vocation to own a bookstore:
The following narrative Warren Farha shared with the Wichita State Orthodox Christian Fellowship as part of their Vocation Retreat. It is the story of how he discerned his life’s vocation and runs an Orthodox Christian Bookstore.
I’ve been asked to give personal testimony about finding and living a vocation, so I will oblige, even though I believe that my vocation is still—yes, even after sixteen years—being tested. Will I endure the parts of the vocation that are distasteful to me in order to continue the thing as a whole? Will I continue to submit to the risks necessary to extend the life of this vocation? Will I live in a manner worthy of the gift of knowing my vocation, even a vocation that is also my occupation, a gift that many struggle their whole lives to determine? Will I distort my vocation through negligence, laziness, distraction? Through taking it for granted? Will I continue to be willing to subject my loved ones to the sacrifices they have to make, so that I might be able to pursue this vocation, which I hope is God’s intended one? These are some of the questions that occur to me as people tell me that I have a vocation, and often even praise it . . . .