Ivan. A Mexican-American with a Russian name. “I’ve been explaining that to people all my life.” It doesn’t surprise then that Ivan would be a technician who’d have to explain to me how to use my Nest thermostat that his company installed. And he did a great job at it.
If I weren’t interested in meeting Ivan, I’d say he was just an ordinary, nice guy who takes great pride at his job. But I did want to meet him. Something told me there might be more to him.
For example, the last thing Ivan wanted to do after graduating high school was to sit at a desk doing the same thing everyday, over and over again. So, he went to trade school. There he studied Heating and Air Conditioning because it taught him a little bit of everything - wiring and electronics, plumbing, and construction.
“I wanted to learn everything I can so I can know how to make the repairs on own house one day.” That’s his goal, to be a home owner. Today, however, Ivan is helping me maintain my home while he works a lot and saves up his money. In his words, “There’s time for trouble or fun.”
Born and raised in the Koreatown neighborhood in Los Angeles, Ivan has lived in the same zip code and on the same street pretty much all his life. “Maybe one day I’ll have a wife that will want to move,” but for now Ivan has made his home around a community that he knows well. In a city filled will people who come and go, Ivan is here to stay.
When I asked him what he wanted the world to know about him, Ivan told me that he had just been talking about that very question with his parents this weekend. He said, “It’s hard to change the world. But it doesn’t matter as long as I live up to my full potential in this life.”
Maybe, if we all lived up to what we were born to do, then maybe the world might change for the better. Although, if my new digital thermostat worked like it was supposed to then I never would have met Ivan or been blessed to have been reminded of my own calling.
So I’m glad I got to know him, and discover that he is a lot more than just an ordinary nice guy.
An ex-copywriter turned punk rock pastor and peacemaker who dedicates his life to making the world a better place for all humanity.
"that they all might be one" ~John 17:21
“Prius vita quam doctrina.”
~ St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)
* “Life is more important than doctrine.”