I really enjoy my job and what I get to do for people, but that doesn't mean that I don't think about other opportunities. For example, someone commented to me a while back that they thought I would make a good preacher. This was a real compliment coming from a preacher who I respect and admire a lot, but I'm not so sure.
The biggest problem with me becoming a preacher is that my religious views and church affiliation are with a church that has an unpaid clergy. It's very difficult to support a family with a full-time voluntary position. So I couldn't really be a 'preacher' for my church and I believe in my church so it would be a little weird to be a preacher for a different church.
Hold on, I've really thought about this. My desire to be a preacher doesn't revolve around the religious aspects. I really like the idea of being able to dedicate my life to helping people in need. I could spend my days in nursing homes visiting people who are lonely. I could prepare a speech once a week to provoke thought and encourage people to improve their lives and be kinder to those around them. I could help people work through the darkest, most difficult times of their lives, providing them with random acts of service and organizing or helping them find the help that they need. I could be paid to give hugs and love people. That's my dream job.
I've thought about professions that sort of mimic my dream job, but nothing quite fits. I could be a counselor, but the whole idea of someone paying me to talk with them and serve them somehow defeats the purpose. I could go into nursing or elder care (which I have done and very much enjoy), but you don't get the time that you need to dedicate to the people. It's all about solving the health problem and moving onto the next patient because the more patients you can see the more MONEY you can make. So the fact that what they really need is someone to talk to doesn't matter. The profession tract doesn't seem to fit what I want to do.
I've also thought about starting a sort of company being a preacher for those who don't have a belief system. That wouldn't compete with my beliefs and I could give an inspirational thought once a week on Wednesdays and go around to my non-believing congregation providing service through the week, helping them with whatever they may stand in need of, loving them and giving them hugs. I think it's a great idea, except that I have my doubts about how the finances would work.
In a regular church people pay a tithe or something like it to the church so the church can provide a building, services, etc. If I were a non-church preacher, I think I would have a hard time convincing people to give me 10% of their income. The rich people would figure out that they would have better results for less money with a shrink and the poor people wouldn't be able to pay me enough to support my family. Maybe I'm just being pessimistic, maybe I should give it a shot.
I have concluded that the next best thing is working at a non-profit gym where I get to serve people of all financial backgrounds and help give them the tools to improve their health. I really do love the people I get to work with, but hugs aren't exactly appropriate. I still wish I could go to homes and provide help as needed. I actually get to deal a little with people's hard times and help them through it, but not nearly to the extent that I wish I could. (Surprisingly, personal training type jobs are ~50% cheerleader, ~40% counselor and ~10% knowing something about exercise and being able to help people improve their health.) So if you have any ideas on starting "Sans' church", let me know.
As soon as we get the battery in the camera recharged I will post pictures.... I think