It’s been a rough week for my preacher ego. This Friday is Childress High School’s annual “Job Shadow Day”. It’s the one day each year when the students are allowed to skip school and “shadow” someone in the community whose job interests them. Every year, for the past 5 years, I’ve had multiple high school kids following me around on “shadow day” to see exactly what it is that I do (insert your wise crack here).
This year, for the first time, nobody has asked to shadow me…zero…zip…zilch! Didn’t even get a nibble of interest. I’ve tried all week not to let it bother me. To make myself feel better, I’ve been telling myself that maybe it’s just an oversight and everyone forgot about how fun and rewarding it is to minister to other people.
And then it happened on the way home from church. I was giving two young boys a ride back to their home. One of them was a 5th grader and the other is a 3rd grader. As we rode back toward their house, I apologized for having to be one of the last ones out of the building, and then discussion turned to being a preacher. “That’s okay,” one of the boys said, “we understand that’s part of your job as a minister.”
“That’s exactly right,” I said with a smile. “Thanks for understanding.”
“You work with a lot of people,” the other one chimed in from the backseat. “My mom says that your job is very important.”
“Your mom is right, you know,” I relpied. “And I think you have a smart Momma.”
So, what do you boys want to be when you grow up.
One said, “I don’t know, maybe an astronaut or a scientist,” and then the other chimed in, “I’m not really sure yet.”
Then I asked THE question … I thought it would be PERFECT timing. “Have you boys ever thought about being a minister when you grow up?” I said with some excitement in my voice.
Almost in unison, with noses wrinkled, they immediately shot back their reply, “A minister? Why would we ever want to do that!??”
So I did what anyone else would do whose ego had been crushed… I pulled over, opened the door and told them to get out … they could walk the rest of the way home!