I love being a pastor! I really do! In spite of the many challenges and discouragements that come with the frequent ups and downs of ministry, I still love being a pastor. But what if I had not become a pastor? What would I be doing today? Here are some possibilities:
I could be the play-by-play radio announcer for Cleveland Indians baseball. This would combine one of my greatest gifts - the ability to verbally communicate - with one of my greatest passions - baseball! To this day if I get to go to a major league baseball game, I have trouble sleeping the night before. In fact, if I am home all by myself and there is a baseball game on television, I will turn the mute button on and I will pretend that I am announcing the game. Imagine having a job where going to work means going to a Major League baseball stadium each and every day? WOW!
I could be a detective. Ever since I was a kid who would never miss an episode of Starsky and Hutch on television, I dreamed of being a detective. To be honest, I still enjoy following major crime stories that take place. At the risk of sounding morbid, I like reading articles and watching television shows about who shot JFK and who killed JonBenet.
I could be a trial lawyer. I think my ability to verbally communicate would have fit well into this occupation and I do enjoy following trials. I rarely missed any of the daily television recaps during the OJ Simpson or the Casey Anthony trials.
I could be a politician. I really enjoy following politics. I love watching all the evening political programs. Actually, I am one of those rare birds that never gets tired of all of the commercials and back and forth that takes place during campaigns, especially the Presidential campaigns. I think I would have very much enjoyed and relished the campaigning and debating that would be involved in such an arena.
But God didn't call me to be a baseball announcer. God didn't call me to be a detective. God didn't call me to be a trial lawyer. God didn't call me to be a politician. God called me to be a pastor.
I remember when that calling was solidified in my life. I was a junior in High School. One of the men who had a great influence on my life back then was a man named Don Bechtel who was my High School Band Director at Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy in Stow, Ohio. He was one of the first individuals I told that I was sure that God had called me to be a pastor. I will never forget his response. He firmly but lovingly said to me, "Scott, if there is anything else you would rather do, do it instead!" That was great advice!
As much as I love baseball; as much as I am intrigued by unsolved criminal mysteries; as much as I like to follow big trials on television; and as much as I enjoy following politics, the truth is that there is absolutely nothing I would rather do than be a pastor. And to top it all off, I get to pastor a wonderful group of people at the E-Free Church in Gaylord, Michigan! That's the icing on the pastoral cake!