Almost a year after relocating to Los Angeles for the second time, I was invited to attend Agape Church on a Sunday morning. I had heard of Agape—if you live in L.A., you have probably at least heard of Agape—but I’d never attended. Everyone I’d ever talked to about it said it was incredible, but I didn’t get it. Now I get it. And I get why Michael Bernard Beckwith is world- renowned. I met Michael afterward, and he could not have been more gracious and warm. I pulled up to Agape headquarters to interview him in February 2010, a bit tired and sluggish, and it was pouring rain. After our interview, as I was driving home, I noticed I felt completely energized and inspired, and the sun had come out, along with a perfect, incredibly vibrant rainbow stretching across the highways, traffic and buildings of Los Angeles! As I drove toward this urban rainbow spectacle, I recalled that Michael had referred to his work as “work-play,” and I smiled, suddenly realizing I knew exactly what he was talking about.
And then I took a snapshot (pictured) of the surprising rainbow through the windshield. (yes, I stopped.)
Reflecting again on this day reminds me of how important and great it is to remember and be grateful for inspirational happenings and special days and to refresh this idea of “work-play” in my life. After interviewing hundreds of people now for Epiphany, I concur with Michael who says, “We’re not here simply to function in society . . . We are here to contribute our unique individual gifts, talents, and skills to the world in a way that only we can bring them to help society stretch and grow. We are here to become a beneficiary presence on the planet.”
In fact, I just spoke to kids at TEDxSMU in December about this very thing, telling them various epiphany stories that support why this is true and encouraging them to follow what makes their hearts sing. I don’t believe what makes our hearts sing—what we love to do and we are good at—is arbitrary. It is our gifts and talents calling to us, and the world needs them. Follow what makes your heart sing and your gifts and talents will guide you. My hope is for everyone to discover and develop their unique gifts and talents and experience the reality of “work-play”—that one’s work is so fulfilling, it doesn’t feel like “work” at all—and to remember that we all can be on the lookout for rainbows and inspiration anywhere and everywhere—even in the most unexpected places.
TO SEE THE INTERVIEW I DID WITH MICHAEL, CLICK HERE.
About the author:
Elise Ballard’s book, Epiphany, contains amazing stories of fascinating people from from all walks of life resulting from her asking everyone the same question: What is Your Greatest Epiphany In Life? With 100′s of interviews from world-renown figures, thought leaders and performers such as Maya Angelou, Dr. Oz, Desmond Tutu, Deepak Chopra and Barry Manilow to people such as a former inmate, leading psychologists, an elementary school teacher, homemakers, business leaders and many more, these epiphany stories not only contain great wisdom and insights but will also perhaps inspire epiphanies or cause you to remember epiphanies of your own. You can also visit her website, EpiphanyChannel.com, to learn more about the project and share your epiphanies.