In Every Good Endeavor, Tim Keller describes Richard Muow providing a biblical framework to investment bankers within which investment banking can be pursued as leveraging our resources to meet a human need.
One challenge I face in trying to live out this story is that, sometimes, it doesn’t feel as though having a new “story” of my work is enough.
When I was being recruited to join a law firm out of law school, a devout Roman Catholic partner shared with me the story of three bricklayers working to build a cathedral. The first one treated his job as nothing more or less than laying bricks. The second one saw it as a means to make money. The third one saw it as a way to contribute to creating a space for people to worship God.
The recruiting partner urged me to see what I would be doing as an entry-level law firm associate — e.g., fairly mechanical tasks of creating and keeping track of closing checklists for deals involving energy infrastructure in the developing countries — as not just practicing law, or making money by practicing law but as contributing to bringing electricity to people who wouldn’t otherwise have it.
I appreciated the story, then, and I do still.
Yet,knowing that I am living this “story” feels insufficient when faced with certain struggles — e.g., no new businesses being generated despite my efforts.
Katherine Alsdorf, co-writing with Tim Keller, said she wanted “a gospel that had good news even for” her business venture’s failure. So do I. In fact, I’d like to know how the gospel is good news even for the frustrating fruitlessness one can experience in one’s business endeavors.
We will see whether the rest of the book suggests a way forward.