i probably shouldn’t even talk about this, since i’m still in the midst of processing. but i need to say something, because often times blogging makes internal issues more real for me.*
for the past three and a half years, i have been a bi-vocational preacher.** sometimes stumbling down the bi-vocational path is incredibly liberating*** and sometimes it is overwhelmingly frustrating.**** lately it’s felt more like the latter.*****
in the midst of my frustration concerning my occupation, i’ve been flailing about and trying to catch hold of some sort of work that i might find meaningful. i’ve considered social work, obsessed about teaching and even considered selling my swimmers. i’m just joking about the last part, but teaching and social work have been on my mind a lot.
however, this morning, as i dodged the sanitation workers on the way to work and openly wondered whether their job is more satisfying than mine****** i realized that i need to be careful lest i choose an occupation that is really another vocation. at the moment, teaching seems to fit the latter bill better than social work, but i dunno.
i suppose i’m saying is that in the midst of my occupational confusion i don’t want to trade my vocation******* for something else that appears good but would ultimately be less than the best.
i suppose that i’m also asking for your prayers and wisdom as i continue to muddle my way through a year that has been stained with unexpected death and unexpectedly scented with the hope of new life. i hate to ask for help like this, but i don’t think that my vocation is simply a possession. rather, i think that God gave it to me for the good of Christ’s community and for the world.
i fear this is as clear as mud. but there you go.
* yes, i realize that’s a bit pathetic.
** for those of you who didn’t slog your way through Bible college and/or seminary, bi-vocational ministry is where you work a real job in order to support your work in the church and, as a result, often fail to do either work or church as well as you would like.
*** especially when you enjoy your day job and are free to serve God and others without a lot of unnecessary restrictions, regulations and censorship.
**** especially when you job sucks and you have no time to do the ministry tasks you love, much less the ministry tasks you hate.
***** which is probably why i’m writing. i tend to dwell on the glass half empty a lot more than tend to the glass half full. shocking, i know.
****** the jury is still out on that one.
******* which is to proclaim the subversive hope of the gospel and incarnate Christ’s compassion to a sick and dying world