Through the years, I have known many professional ministers who experienced sudden, involuntary occupational changes. On one occasion, instead of preaching and doing pastoral work, my friend found himself heralding the merits of a particular luxury motor-car company. Remembering a similar transition long ago in my own life and wishing to encourage my friend, I wrote him the following light-hearted note to which he responded favorably. Knowing that numerous other gracEmail subscribers are similarly situated, I decided to share my note more broadly.
"What are some special blessings enjoyed by a high-end automobile sales rep but not enjoyed by a professional preacher? For starters:
1—He can believe anything he wants to on any spiritual subject without affecting his paycheck or his job.
2—He can learn what life is like for all those people the professional preacher talks to every Sunday, but whom the preacher does not really know and cannot possibly fully understand because he does not go to work every day in a “regular” job.
3—He can clear or focus his mind to meditate on Scripture, pray, think about some biblical theme, etc., without being tempted to be preparing for class or sermon.
4—He can visit the sick and do other good works as he is able and can find the time–and without receiving a penny of pay for any of it. In other words, he can finally be good for nothing.
5—He can make relationships, and within appropriate boundaries, speak to people, find ways to pray with people, pray for people, and otherwise be a member of God’s royal priesthood in the world, God’s secret agent in hostile territory.
6–The fact that God leads us through the valley of the shadow of death seems to include a promise that he will bring us safely out the other side of the valley one day. (This one is not unique to any specific occupation. Even professional preachers are covered here.)
SIX special blessings are about as many as one man can handle in one day."
To which my friend replied: "Thanks so much for this encouraging note! I completely agree with you on all these, especially being “good for nothing.” And I would add a seventh: “Driving a new complimentary luxury demo automobile!” To which I add in closing, ‘Come by sometime and give me a spin!’)"