What Life Lessons Have I Learned About Vocation Since College? [Part 3 of 3]

Here’s a goofy promo pic of our at Upper Room Technologies.  It’s one of the coolest places to work.

I recently had opportunity to speak to communication majors at Spring Arbor University. The question I was asked to answer was What do our students need to know as they are preparing to enter the ever-changing Com & Media workplace? What skills, knowledge, (life lessons & attitudes), etc. will be most beneficial for them to be intentionally seeking and practicing here in order to prepare them for when they enter the work force. I titled the session “Who You Are Matters More Than What You Can Do”.  I’ve broken the presentation down into three posts which will focus on skills, attitudes and life lessons.

Part Three:  Life Lessons


Recently I had the privilege to work with at Upper Room Technologies team to host an open house.  We grew from a 1400 square foot office to a 3700 square foot space.  It’s incredible.  We also nearly doubled our staff.  After a few months of working in a construction zone, working late hours to do both our work and building stuff, we were pretty tired.  Our CEO Andy is friends with Max Lucado and invited Max to do a prayer of blessing to officially open the building.  It was a great night.  Right around that time, Max asked Andy if our team could produce a live online prayer event.  In four days.  Our team began to scramble, rally, and succeed.  Through working over the weekend, we shared some meals, bonfires, and even a movie night to work through obstacles and produce a successful event.  What it tense at times? Yes. Were there obstacles? You bet. But we worked through them all. The fruit from this event? The team really deepened.  Not only are we sharing work together, but we’re sharing life together.  

 When we put our lives in others hands vocationally and take risks, we’re able to come through for each other, build trust, and succeed.  Our team did this over a four day stretch producing this event for Max Lucado.

Here’s a quick recap video from the event.  You can read the story on our Media Fusion website.


Do we really need more words here?  Kindness matters.  It does.  Tone.  Content of our words.  Let them leak with kindness.  

Long View

I shared this in class, but wanted to outline it briefly.  When I was a student, I cared about my GPA, finding a vocation, hanging out with my friends and having fun.  When I was a student in college, I thought Spring Arbor University was providing me an eduction.  What it did was eventually provide me with a family.  I met my wife there.  I met my closest friends there.  And nearly 25 years later, I still share life with these people.  They are the uncles and aunts for my daughter.  We’ve sat together at funerals for parents, children, and in emergency rooms for medical scares.  We’ve also been there for weddings, births, and most holidays.  The fellas head up to a hunting cabin in northern Michigan annually in February to reconnect and get away.  What I didn’t understand when I was 22 was the long view.  

 Who are in yours?  These people have been in all of them. For nearly a quarter century. That matters.

One of our early trips at the cabin. From the left: Brian, Sam, Charlie, Bryan, Chad and me.

Fellas 2014

20 years later at our cabin weekend last winter. Charlie, Sam, Bryan, Brian, me, Todd and Chad

We were lucky enough to marry up. Micki & I, Sam & Julie, Chad & Sara, Charlie & Cary, and Brian & Jen


20 years later, we’ve got a few kids and less hair.

Finally, I showed you all both my diploma and my marriage certificate and told you that when I was a student, the diploma mattered.  But recently celebrating my 20th wedding anniversary, I know that my wedding certificate matters more.  Keep in mind

 Pay attention to your relationships just as much as you do your studies. Your diploma winds up in a storage bin in the basement or on a shelf somewhere in your house.  Your community you take with to heaven.

Related posts from this presentation:  Part One: Skills, Part Two: Attitudes and Part Three: Life Lessons.  

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