I was reflecting this morning on my life and work experiences…and according to askville it says that the average person has between 4 – 7 job changes throughout their lives.
And I came to the conclusion that I was far above average in that department. Since leaving school I have worked as a
- Trainee horticulturalist for the local council
- Trainee Dairy hand
- 2 boat yards and a chandler’s shop – 1 at Hobart Yacht Club – the other at an Engineering firm.
- Intensive Cattle Lot Feed
- Dairy hand on 4 separate occasions on the same farm…different to the first one.
- Rural fencer
- Delivery driver, yard manager building supplies yard. (interesting that I worked for 3 owners during this time.
- Owner operator Lawn mowing business.
- Maintenance technician for families Indoor Plant Hire business
- Security Guard.
- Salesman / sales manager for an insurance firm.
- Marker Gardner hand on a potato farm.
- Part time Service station technician– I left that job because I refused to sell porn. I put up a sign saying “This stock not for sale – due to night managers beliefs – please don’t ask as refusal may offend” and boy…did it ever
- Part time work at a Christian Camp Ground.
- Carpenters offsider.
- Self employed cleaner – started and ran my own cleaning business – “Shop & Office Sparkle for 5 years.
That adds up to a total of 20 different jobs – and I am only 45.
Not only have I worked 20 different jobs – I have volunteered for the Rural Bushfire Brigade & State Emergency Services. I was involved with a service club called “Rotaract” for 13 years in which I helped out in many community events – Blue Light Disco’s, charity fundraisers, Teddy’s Bear Picnic, City to Surf Fun Run to name a few. Then there was the community stuff through the local church – combined prayer meetings, Suicide Awareness and Prevention Network and being a pastoral representative on the local retirement home board….Since that time I have also done telephone counselling and chaplaincy work with homeless men.
In looking back – I wonder how on earth did I fit that all in….. well wait – there is more. I did a two year diploma of ministry in 1999/2000, a cert 1V in business management in 2002, resumed a Degree in 2006 as well as some other courses to do with business management, farming and horticulture.
I can hold my head up high – knowing that I have never been sacked from any of those jobs – Apart from the one when I refused to sell the porn and the other was the building supplies yard – where I came back from holiday’s and found I no longer had a job. The interesting thing about that was – shortly after my dismissal, the secretary’s brother took on my position and a few months later the boss was found to be having an affair with the secretary.
Despite the many jobs I had, they were all earmarked with the sense that I was called into the pastoral ministry. I developed the ability to be able to talk to people about many issues of life. I would often be awestruck as to how many people would just open up to me about their life issues and I slowly developed the skills and abilities to listen and to be able to encourage people within their circumstances of life.
A pastor has to be someone who knows and understands people. They must be able to empathise with others. Know some what of their struggles and frustrations of life. Often – I think we are too quick to rush into the pastoral ministry –instead a time of tempering is needed in the furnace of life. Yet – in saying this – I have also met many skilled and passionate young people who have been fruitful and effective in ministry and have a maturity beyond their years.
As I have looked back – I also look forward into the future. And I wonder, just wonder…what will I be doing over the next 45 years…God knows and I am excitably looking forward to this journey in which we call life…