Theory Versus Experience

Audio / Produced by The High Calling


In 1974, Dr. John Coleman was president of Haverford College. He had written several books on labor relations. That year, for his six-month sabbatical, instead of hitting the speakers’ circuit, Dr. Coleman took an unusual path: He spent two months digging ditches . . . two months in a kitchen . . . and two months as a lumberjack.

He said he learned more about labor relations from ditches, pans, and lumber camps than from all the books he’d read or written.

This is Howard Butt, Jr., of Laity Lodge. John Coleman’s eye-opener reminds me—the higher we rise in any field, the more we must spend time at ground level: with employees and customers. Theories pale in the light of hands-on knowledge . . . in the high calling of our daily work.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matt. 11:29)