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Meaning from My Professional Life

By John Van der Werff, DDS | September 20, 2016

by John Van der Werff, DDS

Turning 60 this year has caused me to reflect back over my life as a follower of Jesus, husband, father and dentist.

After finishing school, my professional goals were to establish a practice and become the best dentist I could be. That involved lots of continuing education, reading and practice. I wanted to be the best not only in technical skills but in management, leadership and verbal skills.

When I started to realize I had achieved my goal, it did not feel very satisfying. The journey was wonderful, but once I “arrived,” it was not very satisfactory. I wondered if that was all there was?
Then I was reminded of what Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 1:2-3: “‘Meaningless! Meaningless!’ says the Teacher. ‘Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.’ What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun?” (NIV 2011).

I know I have helped many people, but it appears all I have done to help people’s teeth is temporary in the grade scheme of things. I want something that will have more meaning and last.

What will have more meaning and eternal consequences? 

Encouraging people, loving them, serving God, worshipping Him and sharing Jesus with those who want to hear about Him come to my mind. How does a dental practice fit into that?

I’m curious to hear your thoughts, so comment below and share what you think.


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