Your Work Can Create Opportunities for Experiencing Bubbles of the Kingdom of Heaven

Let me introduce you to the youngest septuagenarian I ever hope to know. For most of his adult life, he has been a mentor to a myriad of souls. He operates out of an upstairs office in a suburban home in Denver, Colorado. His mentoring takes him from Uganda, to Norway, to the Philippines, and even locally to Colorado Springs all on the same day. Isn’t technology wonderful? Yes, he is world class!

His organization—Leadership Design Group—is donation supported, which allows him to serve people on a pay-it-forward basis. The people who received value from his services can donate to his organization, which allows him to continue to serve people well into the future. Like a number of organizations that are client supported, the contributor base is shrinking and the operating income has also declined. This last year, he and his lovely bride of fifty years needed to go off their payroll as the contribution income just wouldn’t support his work anymore. In a commercial endeavor, he would simply fold up his tent, close up shop, and quietly retire. His vocation, however, is to mentor people—to invest in people. So now he collects his Social Security and a pension, living on income from investments, continuing to mentor people through Leadership Design Group with no salary. Health allowing, Wes Roberts will never retire. He will continue to mentor hundreds of people, including me.

Author, Steven Garber includes a chapter called “Knowing is Doing” in his book, Visions of Vocation (2014). The essence of the chapter is: knowing what you know now about—fill in the blank—what will you do? Wes could have hung up his spurs, rode off into the sunset with his wife, and simply slipped away with a heart filled with great memories of a lifetime of investing in people. But, knowing what he knows—that multiple people are still in need of guidance and direction, me being one of them—he stayed in the saddle, even without direct compensation. How many people have a vocation and not just a career today?

So now, shift the focus to you. Gaze into the mirror.

If all of a sudden, your company: where you exchange knowledge, skills, abilities, and time for money stopped gaining income, what would you do? Would you still find a way—knowing what you know? If the answer is yes, perhaps you have found your calling and have a vocation on your hands. If the answer is no, then perhaps this will encourage you to continue the search for your true calling, and discover a vocation.

As Wes and I have continued our work together, he has discovered that his vocation puts him in close proximity to experiencing bubbles of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Does your work create such opportunities?

Do you believe it could?

5 Comments

  • I Imagine just being in the presence of this man is peaceful. How blessed are the people in his care.

  • It’s good to make ourselves that question. What is our vocation in life, what we will do even if we are not paid for.

  • Steve…before now, I should have responded with a hearty, “Thak you, friend!!!!!!!” We two doing life with you two is easily one of the continuing highlights of our lives. Grateful are we to be eternal friends. And now we are off to chase some whales on the Oregon coast…more when you least expect it. 😉

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