“Happy are those who find wisdom and those who get understanding... for their income is better than silver.”

Tom’s Journal-March 30, 2008
This second day of recovery, I see Em, my other daughter. Great to laugh with her as she asks how my “ticker thing” is working. I see my ole pal Feds in the back of the room and motion him over. Tell him “thanks” as I hear he’s been hanging around the previous three days! He laughs as I expand my kidding to say that I saw him scrubbing in with Dr. Nicolasi. Feels good to joke. Son Jay calls and he says heartfelt things to me. My cousin Mary and husband Jim come and bring me a six pack of beer, which I’m not quite ready for. Gratefulness permeates my being—again.

What am I learning? God is in this place. And in the confidence I felt throughout everything. Dr. N; his team, the nurses, family, friends. Such professionalism. Compassion. Love. Wife Leslie in my corner, staying close throughout it all.

Where am I going? What have I learned? Many places….and much. To be continued. All part of the journey. This great, crazy, mysterious journey. Amen


One of the “wisdoms” here is certainly to have an appreciation for what we have and have had our whole lives. Family, friends, faith, good work.

Christopher Lowney (Jesuit Seminary dropout, Investment Executive and author of Heroic Leadership) talks about the importance of wisdom in our decision-making and quotes Proverbs 3:13-15. “Happy are those who find wisdom and those who get understanding… for their income is better than silver.” It seems most of us have spent our lives pursuing “silver.” Or at least materialism or maybe careers we thought would satisfy us. Wisdom is one of those old school words we seldom use. Its root means “seeing” or “knowing” and implies that we need to look for long term, meaningful outcomes from the decisions we make and the directions we pursue.

Wisdom also infers that we examine deeper questions as we explore the paths in front of us. Questions which refer to vocation–that unique “call” from our true heart or soul—are not just an analysis of our skills or abilities or even values. Several “deep thinkers” give us examples:

  • “Who are we and Whose are we?” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)
  • “Is what I am living, my true life?” (Parker Palmer)
  • “Where do the world’s deepest hunger and my best gifts intersect?” (Frederick Buechner)
  • “What am I longing for (in my life—in my work)” (Ignatius of Loyola)

Vocation is a slippery idea as it’s a call toward something new from something/someone beyond ourselves—while often taking us to places we already know. And using the gifts we’ve always had but may need to be rediscovered. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, provides I think the best explanation as presented by Jim Manney in his book God Finds Us.

“Beneath the love of money, possessions, honor, and pride, we will find what we really want. And here is Ignatius’s great insight. When we find what we really want, we find what God wants, too. It’s a pretty remarkable idea, so I’ll say it again: when we discover what we really want, we discover what God wants, too.


What wisdom about your present life do you already have?

What deeper question might you ponder and how will it relate to your search for better, more meaningful work?

How do you feel about the truths of your needs and God’s needs coming together?

*This TranSpirations focuses on the relationship between Tom’s journaling about his successful heart surgery in 2008 and possible lessons for career/work/retirement transitions.

Thomas Bachhuber, Ed.D., President of the Board and Executive DirectorThomas Bachhuber, Ed.D.
President of the Board and Executive Director for The Center for Life Transitions. Tom is responsible for overall Center leadership and strategy. His individual coaching/counseling as well as workshops and retreats focus on integrating leading career development ideas with spiritual exploration. Read more.