Robert A. Jaffray was born in 1873. As the wealthy heir to the successful Toronto newspaper the Globe and Mail, his father had great ambitions for him to become the CEO and owner of it. Robert sensed another calling.
Looking past his family fortune and ample political connections, he sensed the calling to become a missionary. Against his father’s deep opposition, Robert decided that his calling was to serve in China. As part of his preparation for this, he become fluent in Chinese. This skill had the Standard Oil Company of New York knocking at his door as they were seeking to set up an office in Hong Kong.
In response to their offer of a huge salary, he said, “No thank-you.” They later returned and doubled the salary offer to which he again said, “No thank-you.”
Finally they sent him a telegram with one sentence: “Jaffray, at any cost.”
He replied with one line, “Your salary is big. Your job is too small.”
He went on to be a missionary in China for more than 35 years. His work included the translation of the New Testament into Cantonese as well as writing and editing the Bible Messenger, a publication which sent training materials to Cantonese Missionaries which was later reprinted in other “colloquial language versions.”
May we also remember that our ultimate job is bigger than the one that brings home the salary.