His Next Gig – at 90!

I received a message from one of my friends earlier this week that he had retired from his last “job” and wanted to speak to me and get my counsel on the next thing he had in mind. Normally, I think this type of communication is quite normal because I coach people for a living. If I had to choose a sound bite about how I have spent my career, I would tell you that I try to help people get from their current place to where God appointed them to be. It is an incredibly rewarding career filled with discovery, joy, blessings and having a front row seat to how people bloom when they are in the center of God’s will for their lives. But Dale’s story is a little different – he retired from a traditional work environment a quarter of a century ago – Dale just turned 90!

That’s right – 90 and still going strong. But, as is the case for many of my posts, there is a backstory that highlights the wonderful traits that this devout Christian exemplifies.

I met Dale more than 35 years ago and throughout our time together, he has undeniably changed my life in ways that I could hardly imagine at the time. Although I knew him by reputation in the central Indiana business community, I had never engaged with him in person. That is until he bought a small competitor of mine in the staffing business…

At first I was concerned about what that would mean for my business and for the central Indiana staffing community at large. But my fears were completely unfounded. As Dale was moving his new company into an office close to my own, I stopped the car, went up the walkway and introduced myself. I don’t know that I have ever met a more selfless gentleman.

We immediately hit it off. In fact, by the time we parted that day, I found myself offering my assistance to him if he needed anything. He offered the same help to me. We ended up becoming friends and I have had a decades to watch and to see how truly remarkable this man is.

I have never seen Dale raise his voice, get frustrated, take sides in a disagreement or want anything other than the best for everyone he comes in contact with. There isn’t a competitive bone in his body and kindness is his calling card. When I had our large offices at Keystone at the Crossing on the north side of Indianapolis, Dale helped me form a group to coach high level executives who were out of work or looking for a career change. We met weekly and our services were completely free to the people we helped.

Years later, as I felt called to do broader based career transition coaching with my two ministry partners, Roger and Rich, Dale was quick to sign on with us, leveraging his expertise in the human resources world to provide tangible assistance to people who needed our help. Another well known icon in the area, Dennis, also joined us and I like to think that the five of us spearheaded an effort to really impact central Indiana while hoping to also impact the spiritual lives of those who we served.

Throughout the years, Dale has helped countless numbers of people with their job searches. He has started several organizations that are still in operation and some of the most well known career transition programs ever created. Probably 10 years ago, he started a networking group that has blossomed into three or four various meetings a week serving different parts of the local population. In fact, I have helped with programming on numerous occasions and always jump at the opportunity to help Dale.

So imagine my surprise when I heard from him Tuesday morning, at 3:23 a.m. And I had to chuckle when I read his note – he has resigned from the networking ministry he started and has an idea for his next venture. This, after years of helping, writing a book or two, donating thousands upon thousands of hours and rather than take a well deserved rest, he marches on – anxious to discuss his next idea. How wonderful. Count me in…

Our verse tonight comes from Paul’s letter to the church at Galatia. Paul is telling the church about what is called the fruit of the Spirit. And every time I think of Dale, I can’t help but realize that he exemplifies exactly the traits that Paul reminds us of. Paul tells us, in Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” This encapsulates Dale’s take on life.

My encouragement this evening is that God wants us to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit in our daily lives with everyone we interact with. He wants us to love one another and be humble in our actions. My prayer is that God will continue be bless our efforts to honor Him and that Dale will continue to be successful in his efforts to advance the kingdom of God here on earth. I can’t wait to see what he has planned for the next chapter! Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…


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