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On Fire For Good feature Susan Clift Gislason shows us how to serve others.

“Vocation is the place where your deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.” -Frederik Buechner

“It’s not my job…”

This is a sentence my children are not allowed to utter when asked to do a chore around the house.

It’s also a sentence you will not hear from a small business owner striving to claw their way forward, or a committed employee trying to make a difference, or a community member striving to lift up others.

And for Susan Clift Gislason, it’s a sentence she refuses to utter because she’s far more interested in living her vocation than merely doing some job.

Actively involved in the community. Welcoming every single attendee by name as a greeter at church. Being a loving mom, a caring sister, a supportive daughter, and a devoted spouse. To those who know her, Susan is celebrated for using her gifts to elevate others.

Working within her family’s insurance agency for 40 years, one of her clients, Ken McGhee, owned a family funeral business. Whenever she would visit, Susan couldn’t help but be in awe of the open-hearted love he showed to the families in their time of grief and loss.

Finding herself on the receiving end of that love after her father passed away, Susan was blown away by the humble compassion she was shown. Ken cared for the entire family and attended to every detail, all while staying ever-present in the background during her family’s most difficult moments. It didn’t take away the pain, but Susan realized that type of presence, that kind of care, helped begin the healing.

And she felt called to do that for others.

So, in 2014, the busy mother, family business owner and community leader made the time to invest a year interning with Ken as a funeral director. It wasn’t the pay or the glamour or the ease of work that attracted her to serve grieving families, but the chance to be used for good. A decade later, she still volunteers at the funeral home whenever she is needed, making sure mourning families are surrounded with the same love, understanding and support she received.

Although this may not be the kind of story that grabs headlines, there is something deeply inspirational about an individual who chooses to be there when someone is hurting. There’s something beautiful about someone using their gifts to meet a desperate, painful, and ultimately inevitable need to be comforted during times of crisis.

Many of us too quickly feel defined by what we do professionally. A lawyer, a nurse, a business owner. However, where we make our greatest impact is rarely through a specific role or a singular job. It’s living our vocation and using our talents for good within our faith communities, neighborhoods, organizations, and families. It’s where we feel most alive when we are doing the work, even when it’s difficult, underappreciated, or unpaid.

It’s the place, ultimately, where our deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.

And the pursuit of discovering and living that vocation might be the single most important job we have.  Just ask those positively impacted by Susan Clift Gislason.

Today is your day. Live Inspired.

3 replies on “Discovering Vocation and a Meaningful Life”

Thanks Again John for a great Monday morning message. Your Monday Motivation messages are a great way to kick the week into action. Hope all is well for you and the family!!

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