A friend sent me a book. I mentioned this last week, and now I shall mention it again. Or, rather, I just did. Look, if this is getting confusing, just imagine that you’re reading a really crappy time travel story, all right? Book, from friend, arrives in mail. I mention it several times. There. Let’s just wrap up this paragraph and move on.
The book is Quitter by Jon Acuff. It shows people how to bridge the gap between day job and dream job — and how to do it right. I have to admit there’s a lot of great stuff in there. For instance, instead of quitting your day job and chasing your dream, he encourages people to first off learn to like their day job and work hard at it — because if you can work hard at that, working hard at your dream should be easy. If you’re not disciplined enough to work hard at your day job, what makes you think you could ever work at your dream job?
Now, a fairly large chunk of the book didn’t really apply to me. I like my “day job.” I love being a pastor. I love speaking God’s Word to both God’s people and people who aren’t his — yet. True, there are some aspects of my call I would amputate given the chance, but that’s the problem with sin. It infects everything!
But… what about writing? Is that where my dream is? Would I rather be a writer or a pastor?
…who says I can’t do both? I’ve been writing on this blog now for over a year. For a large chunk of that I have been a pastor. Just because I get to preach God’s Word doesn’t mean I can’t let my imagination run wild, too. Just because it’s Lent doesn’t mean I need to stop writing. If you’ve been reading along, you know I’ve been working on my novel. Last night I covered seventeen pages in about two hours. Tonight I expect to get nothing done; instead, I get to teach God’s Word to people who are just getting to know Jesus. Yeah, that wins out!
One of the things Acuff does so well in his book is dismantle the terrible slavery of “I’m, but.” You know, “I’m an accountant, but I’m really a mountain climber.” “I’m a teacher, but I’d rather be a race car driver.” “I’m a plumber, but I’m really a dancer.” That thought that we’re somehow separate from our day jobs, or enslaved to them, rather than rejoicing in the work we have and using it as a way to get closer to our dream job.
Except I’m not “I’m, but.” I’m “Both, and.” You know:
I’m both a pastor and a writer.
And I don’t think I’d have it any other way.