You’ve Got to Know What Your Bongos Are

Mark Buchanan's "Spiritual Rhythm"

I was reading Mark Buchanan’s book Spiritual Rhythm this morning. In the book he shares the story of a young man who was with him in Africa and how every time he’d see a big skin-drum, he would squat down and beat away. I live with a drummer so I know how deep the desire to do just that runs in some people. The problem in this case was that this young man had no rhythm. Buchanan says that, “he whacked away with no more elegance than a bucket falling down a well.” However, when it came to hard work, this young man led the pack. He was a weight-lifter and could do hard work with ease. Hard work was his bongos. He could do it long and hard and with joy!

My son once said to me, “Mom, you are so lucky. You have a job that people need. You really contribute something to the world. I just make money selling people material things so they can impress other people.” Hmmmm. I must respond to this insightfully, be encouraging…

My son is an expert salesperson. He has a real “feel” for people and has told me that he can usually figure out a person’s finances within the first 10 minutes of a conversation. He tells me that is very important in making a sale. He sells audio equipment at retail to the masses and designs and builds home theaters and communications systems in high-end developments and million dollar single-family homes.  He says he never wants to insult his buyer at either end of the spectrum and he excels at it.

I am a nursery nurse. I take care of well newborns and those needing emergency interventions. I’d say I am better-than-average at it. It is fairly self-evident that I am in an occupation that lends itself more easily identifiable as contributing to the good of society than my son…until one takes a closer look. My son makes a 6-figure income every year. He has no debt (thanks to Dave Ramsey). He contributes tens of thousands of dollars to the poor in his community every year. He purchases vehicles, adds additions onto the homes of the needy, provides bikes and go-carts for children…you get the picture. My son is what Obama might call a “redistributor” of the wealth. He makes huge profits off his profession and directs those profits to meet the needs of the poor.

My son has found his bongos in sales. I have found my bongos in nursing. The key is to “find your bongos.” Find what you are good at, something  that sets your heart on fire and does not harm others and do it!

Have a great weekend,



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