The last weekend I was home was at the conclusion of Christian Motorcycle Association’s big “Changing of the Colors” rally near Mena. This year I’ve had to experience the changing of my own colors in several ways. The changes begun when the elders of the congregation took me aside in an office and told me that they have decided it was time for change. It’s so ironic they used these words, because the congregation is so resistant to change. They were afraid I was leading for change. The only thing they really wanted to change was me.
My life on the other hand has changed drastically. Life doesn’t always turnout as planned. I know I have a passion for ministry. I love to teach about the Bible. It is a subject that fills me with enthusiasm. I also love the church. The church has helped me pull through some very difficult times. Sometimes the church has been the cause of those difficult times, but I’ve come to expect that. The church is comprised of fallible people, after all, and I am one of them.
I think my biggest mistake was to make the ministry a career. If I had it to do all over again, I would still want my religious education, but I would have finished a degree in something else first. I don’t know what, because nothing else really appeals to me, but something. I would still want to work for the church, but I wouldn’t be dependent upon it.
The ministry is great calling, but it is a lousy profession. Upper levels of education from private institutions are expected, yet very few who receive their education are able to stay in the career. After all, you never know when your whole family will have to be up rooted because a few people decided they don’t want you around anymore. It’s virtually impossible to get health insurance that can be afforded. Mine is only possible because of my wife’s work provides it. Everything changes when a preacher is fired. The whole family moves and tries to start over again. It takes months to find a church that fits, and that is never for certain. A person can only take so many rejections and start overs. So why would I do it? Because I love it. But I’m not sure it loves me.
So this week I’ve had to take an alternate form of employment. Luckily, I kept my CDL license. That is about the only way I can earn much over minimum wage. But now I’m back to seeing the world through my windshield. It’s kind of like being in jail for weeks at a time, but it has a wonderful view. At least it does when the traffic is not too bad.
This week I started by getting a rent-a-car to Birmingham, AL. From there it was off to Atlanta, and then up to North Carolina, and back to Alabama through the mountains. Beautiful!!! It really was. I wasn’t making much money because the truck would only go about 15 miles an hour up those hills, but it was beautiful. I’m back in North Carolina again, and it looks like I’m headed to New York. All the way to the top of the state. I’m not looking forward to NYC, but I’m kind of interest in seeing this section of the country I haven’t explored yet.
So Fall has come with incredible change. It may take me a while to find my cheese again. Hopefully, next time it won’t be poison. Life doesn’t always turn out as planned. We may educate ourselves for a career, but that doesn’t mean that we’ll be any good at it, or that we will be able to secure employment in it. Life’s just like that. Change can be good. Other times it’s just change and we have to deal with it.