The OWN Ambassadors were first introduced to DeVon Franklin when he appeared as a guest on Super Soul Sunday with Oprah Winfrey in June 2012. In this interview, DeVon spoke about his life, faith, and book Produced by Faith and how the constant presence of God imbued every moment, memory, and vision for his life.
Produced by Faith is a must-read for anyone embarking on their career, in the midst of their career, or in the process of making a career transition. The book’s power lies in its prolific insights couched in compassion and a core commitment to faith as the central genesis of one’s career progression. In Produced by Faith, DeVon Franklin expertly uses the analytic framework of the development and production stages in a film’s creation as lenses through to study our search for life’s purpose.
The book is a beautiful combination of deeply spiritual introspection and practical career strategy, which makes DeVon’s powerful assertion about the role faith plays in our careers all the more revolutionary. He does not deal with the concepts of ambition, success, and drive in isolation from a faith-based life, instead focusing on how orienting our careers to service automatically infuses our daily work with a spiritual component. Through this book, I began to clearly understand for the first time how work is indeed a form of worship and how our careers provide us all with the opportunity to use our skills, talents, and abilities to rise into the highest expression of ourselves.
Produced by Faith came into my life at a particularly relevant moment. Around the time of the Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday interview with DeVon Franklin, I was recently unemployed, having lost my job due to budget cuts in my organization. That time in my life was characterized by uncertainty and had me on a deeply introspective journey to find my life’s true purpose and calling. This book was a veritable lightning bolt of love to the heart that struck me at such a core level.
It caused me to look at my search for work as more than just finding a job, but instead as a vehicle through which I could discover who I am and how I wanted to be of service in the world. It allowed me to cut out the cacophony of stress and anxiety that can come with job loss and instead focus on how this time of uncertainty could be deeply transformative. Given the complexities of our current economic climate, this book is all the more meaningful and timely in its sound, compelling testimony on the power of faith to see us through.
Produced by Faith also gave me the courage to believe that success is not determined by external indicia of money, fame or power, but instead characterized by a deeply held sense of contentment and peace, rooted in an alignment with a higher purpose. As DeVon Franklin writes, “success is confidence and contentment in the person God has made you to be.”
DeVon’s powerful work helped me to eschew the tendency to control everything that is happening around me, because as he writes: “The truth is, you and I are in control of only two things: how we prepare for what might happen and how we respond to what just happened. The moment when things actually do happen belongs to God.”
I have been consistently moved by the discussions this book has generated and amazed by how its lessons live, breathe and find root in every day of my life.
Regardless of your faith or the current stage in your career, Produced by Faith has universal appeal. It teaches us about the power we have, even when we feel most powerless, to affect change, make a difference, and be of service. As Glinda the Good Witch said to Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz: “You have always had the power.”
***Prasanna Ranganathan, an original OWN Ambassador, is a lawyer and project manager, writer, ultimate Oprah fan, and television, film, and Academy Awards (Oscar) aficionado. Prasanna is pop-culture personified. When he’s not out bringing JOY to the world or scooping up the lessons at OWN, he can be found on Twitter @PRanganathan.