Thursday, May 25, 2006

If I Were a Rich Man...

Lately I have considered that question that high school career counselors often ask: If I was independently wealthy, what would I choose to do? In case some of you would answer "nothing" - here's another way of putting it: If I had however many millions of dollars at my disposal and the only requirement for accessing it was to put my hand to SOMETHING, what would that something be? For me, it is complicated because my heart lies in a variety of areas. So, just for kicks, I took a 50 hour work week and broke it down. Keep in mind this does not include personal time with God, personal time with family, hanging with friends, blogging, and fitness/rest/relaxation.

10 hrs studying the Bible on whatever topic, using a variety of resources, and preparing to teach, preach, or write
5 hrs writing book(s)
5 hrs songwriting
5 hrs organization & planning / administrative items
4 hrs recording music and/or leading a live worship team
2.5 hrs practicing guitar
2.5 hrs practicing piano
2.5 hrs developing singing voice
2.5 hrs teambuilding / developing relationships
2 hrs volunteering at a shelters/homes
2 hrs going to bars/casinos/concerts to witness
2 hrs designing/updating websites or databases
2 hrs creating ideas for video production
2 hrs teaching - whether live / taped / podcasted
1 hrs creative writing - scripts for kids' videos, puppet shows, jokes, jingles, poems, etc

The ultimate goal of everything listed above would be to share God's love with others and help them grow in Him. As I look over the list I am struck by the fact that it does not lend itself to a stable, regular-paycheck secular career. I was a music teacher for five years. I put hours of preparation time in, was very organized, and ran a classroom that made learning fun. The preparation-presentation items above were fulfilled, but everything else was not. Based on a teacher's paycheck in the area where I live, my wife would not have been able to be a stay-at-home mom. In my technology career I have used organization and planning as well an aptitude for logical thought, but I really prefer the front-end design more than the back-end programming. Yet, again, all the other areas of interest were hung out to dry. If I go down the line...nobody gets paid simply to study and prepare unless you are part of a R&D team - has to be some form of presentation or outlet. To my knowledge, being an author is not a regularly paying gig, nor is songwriting. Some kind of business administration is a possibility, but there again all the other items would be pushed out of the way. A career in musical performance is not necessarily regular pay, nor is sales (involving relationship building). I have considered something like a director of a nursing home or shelter, but that again pushes the other items out of the picture. Last I checked, nobody gets paid to witness, videography is so cut-throat and competitive it would take the fun out of it, and creative writing is certainly not regular, stable pay.

For several years, more in the past year, and even more so since October, I keep coming back to the possibility of pioneering a church and being a pastor who also leads worship. If I ever stepped out to do that, I definitely would not be the type who is shut in a study only to appear Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights. I have to have face to face time with those who are lost and in need (i.e. streetwitnessing and shelter work). I believe in leading by example, and the last thing I would want is a building full of spiritually fat people who are nothing more than country club members. I would want my congregation to reach out to a hurting world and I would be the first in line. This is where my heart is, but I am searching for the proper path to get there. Maybe doors will open up and something will happen in the next couple of months. Maybe a couple years...maybe five or ten. I firmly believe that if one follows God's path for his or her life, He will provide each and every step of the way.

One thing I have learned over the years is not to make life-altering decisions when you are stressed. I have not been in blog world lately to read or write because I have been CRAZY busy. The company I was working for was sold to a company in Toronto and the software developers were not part of the deal. Tomorrow is my last paycheck. I know my God is faithful and He will guide to what He wants for me at this time. I have been scoping out companies, sending out resumes (for tech jobs), and have had two interviews that I think went well. I am playing classical guitar in a wedding on June 3rd. Cindy and I have been researching the quality and safety of various baby items. We have been to three Lamaze Plus classes (for those wishing to go as drug-free as possible) and have been trying to find time to read up on all sorts of baby-related info. I have been doing MAJOR work on the house - more on that in another post. The point is, my mind is occupied with many things, so for now I am taking care of the tasks at hand, seeking stable, secular work, and praying that God will prepare me for whatever else He has in store for me.

Hey, I just want to add that I deeply miss all of you and hope to catch up on your blogs very, very soon. You are all a blessing to me and I appreciate having you as my blog friends.

Just out of curiosity, if YOU were financially independent and the only requirement for accessing your wealth was to put your hand to SOMETHING, what would that something be? No need to break it down by hours (that was for the benefit of my own thought process), I am just interested in knowing what interests you...

14 Comments:

At 5/25/2006, Blogger Cameron Cloud said...

Sounds like God is taking you through a transition time in your life. My experience has been that whenever these "stretching" times come, it is to take me to the next level. (Sort of like changing grades in school).

I will pray that you will know God's guidance in the days ahead.

As to what I would do if financially independent? Exactly what I do now as a pastor (minister, study, teach, preach, write, etc.). I'm blessed to get to do as a vocation, what I love doing.

 
At 5/25/2006, Blogger Karen said...

Full time ministry...everything else would be a hobby...

 
At 5/25/2006, Anonymous Melanie Morales said...

I think I'm doing it. What's really cool is that I don't have to be independently wealthy!

Mark, I look at the things you talk about - music, media production, etc. I think we are long lost twins (not identical of course)! hehe

My dream and I am pursuing it is to utilize technology - and show others how to utilize it - to spread God's Message in today's word.

 
At 5/25/2006, Blogger jel said...

if I were Rich,had all the money in the world, to the doctors that go all over the world helping people! if I was Rich that's what I would do!

 
At 5/25/2006, Blogger Ryan Kellermeyer said...

I think we are rich, but I get your point. Maybe you can pursue those activities a little less agressively with the time you do have?

I hope you find a great job.

 
At 5/26/2006, Blogger Patchouli said...

I've been wondering about you, Mark. Glad to see you again.

Mr. Patchouli and I have talked about winning the lottery--it would go to a huge piece of land where we would love any and all children in need. Huge house, racetrack, trees, ponds, and kids, kids, kids being free.

 
At 5/28/2006, Blogger Mandy said...

Missed your blog posts. I've been a little scarce myself, too:)

With all the money in the world, I would probably add a few things to my to do list-like making lots of recordings, traveling to sing and minister, adopting children, oh and having Starbucks EVERYDAY!!! everything else would most likely remain the same.

I just pray that I can continue on this path with God's grace and provision.

May Holy Spirit continue to lead you and guide you in all things.
Take care:)

 
At 6/05/2006, Blogger Aim Claim said...

Thanks so much for such wisdom that you left on my blog... I apreciate it Mark

 
At 6/06/2006, Blogger Fred said...

Hey Mark. Glad you're still at it. Now that I'm back, I'll drop by and say hi when I'm blogging.

 
At 6/14/2006, Blogger Godwyn Lim said...

Hey Dear brother in Chirst,

I haven't been actively blogging or surfing for the past few weeks as well, was busy & just fell really sick...I am down with gastric flu & ulcers in the throat that boils me down with fever & pain...

Yet, I know I am healed in Jesus name, not trying to be...manage to wrote a new entry just on my blog after a long fiasco...pray for me the Devil is trying to deceive me with the pain...

Thank you for your concern, really appreciate your thoughts!

May the Lord keep you & bless you!

 
At 6/24/2006, Anonymous Melanie Morales said...

I just wanted to drop by and let you know I've been praying for you and miss your blog entries! I hope that you are okay and looking forward to you getting back at it soon.

 
At 6/26/2006, Blogger CJ said...

where did you go? i miss you...

 
At 7/01/2006, Blogger Tony Myles said...

This is a very timely thtead for my life... thanks for this.

 
At 7/02/2006, Blogger curious servant said...

That is an interesting question.

I think I would write a novel, and a book on faith.

I think I would paint a lot.

Of course I would spend a lot of time praying and dinking around my church, doing paintings.

 

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