Let me introduce you to the youngest septuagenarian I ever hope to know. For most of his entire 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 then 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 allow him to serve people on a pay it forward basis. Pay it forward means people who have 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 who are long in the tooth the contributor base is shrinking and along with it the operating income has also declined. This last year he and his lovely bride for fifty years needed to go off payroll as the contribution income just won’t support his work anymore. In a commercial endeavor he would simply fold up his tent, close up shop and quietly retire, sigh. His vocation however is to mentor people, he invests in people. So now he collects his Social Security and a pension living on income from investments and continues to mentor people through Leadership Design Group still for free and now with no salary. Health allowing Wes Roberts will never “retire” it just isn’t in his lexicon. Good for those of us he mentors. (Full disclosure he is my mentor.)
Steven Garber is the principal of the Washington Institute for Faith, Vocation & Culture. In 2014 he wrote Visions of Vocation. There is a chapter in the book dedicated to Knowing is Doing. The essence of the chapter is knowing what you now know about (fill in the blank with whatever) what will you do now? Wes could have hung up his spurs rode off into the sunset with Judy 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. Who does that today? People with a vocation and not just a career.
So now shift the focus to you. Gaze in the mirror. If all of a sudden your company where you exchange knowledge, skills, abilities and time for money stopped the money flow, what would you do? Would you still find a way (knowing what you know to continue to do it?) 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 engage you to continue the search to ascend to your calling and discover a vocation.
As Wes and I have continued our working together he has discovered exercising his vocation puts him in close proximity to experiencing bubbles of the Kingdom of Heaven. Heaven while working what a concept huh! Does your work create such opportunities? Do you believe it could? If you desire to have this occur in your work spaces how much longer would you continue to work? Well into your seventies? Work without direct compensation? Work because the Rewards from Father God are so much more valuable than money……really? Think about it if you are working just for money perhaps you are over working.
So get started today. Begin to think about work as calling looking for bubbles of the Kingdom of Heaven along the way. Pick up a copy of Garber’s book beginning a sojourn into discovery. Heaven awaits your pursuits.