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When I Grow Up…

I don’t do memes. I have not (to my recollection) done a single one of them since the dawn of this site. I have often been tagged to do them but have always resisted because, quite frankly, I don’t care what character I most resemble, but it a character from Lord of the Rings, Narnia, or Napoleon Dynamite. I also don’t really care to know what theological system I most clearly adhere to, what type of flower I would be (if I were a flower), and, well, you get the idea.

This morning I got tagged by Dignan’s 75 Year Plan to answer a few questions about what I wanted to be when I grew up. These questions gave me pause and I thought it might be fun to answer some of the questions, even if I do not participate in the meme.

When I was a child I wanted to be all the things little boys dream of. Mostly I wanted to either kill or save people. If I couldn’t be a fireman who would carry pretty girls out of burning schoolhouses then I wanted to be a soldier who would protect those little girls. You know how it works, I’m sure. I had a vivid imagination but little common sense (and even less sense of reality). As I grew older reality began to infringe upon my dreams and I came to see that I would have to work within my talents. My talents and desires precluded me from carrying people down ladders or from toting a rifle (though I did briefly consider attending the Royal Military Academy in order to install myself with some type of personal discipline).

When I was in my first year of high school my parents decided I would benefit from some aptitude testing. I sat through I.Q. tests and page after page of questionnaires. and quite enjoyed this period of testing and introspection The results were interesting. The counsellor listed my top two aptitudes as: engineering and clergy. He suggested that I was a logical type and would do well in engineering. He also suggested that I had the skills and desire to enter some type of vocational ministry.

If this counsellor had been able to see my math scores he would have realized that engineering really was not an option. I guess a logical mind does not necessarily translate to procifiency in mathematics, something I understand to be important to those who wish to succeed in engineering. Looking at my family I can see that the proficiencies with which I was presented make some sense. On my father’s side I noted that my grandfather was a judge, my uncle is an architect and other relatives were engineers and politicians. On my mother’s side almost the entire family earns a living through either teaching or journalism. I guess the apple does not fall too far from the tree.

It was late in my high school years when I thought I might wish to become a pastor. I began to study Latin and Greek with a view to someday attending seminary. I graduated a year early with mediocre grades (I’m sure I could have done better but just didn’t like school) and headed to university where I graduated three years later with a degree in history. My grades were, once again, summa cum averaga, but I was the undisputed king of euchre in the Togo Salmon cafeteria.

So there I was: twenty years old, engaged and with a degree in history. I had become somewhat disillusioned with the church at that time and no longer felt any great pull to the ministry. While I tried to sort out what I was going to be now that I was growing up, I worked at the local Starbucks and quite enjoyed being able to basically turn off my brain for eight hours at a time. The store was immediately next door to a theatre and I watched far too many movies in that period of life. It was my dad who decided that I needed to get moving towards a real career. Shortly after I got married (it was brave of my in-laws to let me wife marry someone who was working at Starbucks for $9/hour) my dad enrolled me at a local technical college. I did not get a vote, so just shrugged my shoulders and agreed that it looked like it would be fun to study computers. I have no recollection of how we survived financially during the ensuing months while I studied, yet somehow we made it through. God was good to us, I’m sure. The course was supposed to take about a year but, since it was self-directed, I did it at my own pace and finished in about half the alloted time. I graduated with a degree or certificate in some subject, though I can’t quite remember anymore what it is. I believe it may have been Local Area Network Administration. I also earned quite a large pile of Microsoft, Novell and other certifications, all of which are now long-since obsolete. I was now ready to embark on a career as a LAN Administrator. I quickly found employment with a small mom and pop shop about a half hour away from home. During the interview process I forgot to ask how much I would be paid and had to wait until my first paycheque to see that it would be $28,500 per year. That isn’t much now and it wasn’t much more back then!

Once again God took good care of us and blessed us with our first child. I was a LAN Administrator for a few years. I enjoyed the job at first but began to grow tired of it, primarily because the companies I worked for were so poorly managed. Twice I began working for a company that was bought by an American firm who took our technology back to the U.S. and then closed the doors. After the second time I was laid off (which happened to be when my wife was expecting our second child) I decided I had had enough and opted to begin a web design company. I began with no money and no knowledge of how to design a web page, but, as has been the theme of our marriage, God blessed us. I continue to design web sites. On the whole I love web design. It is a nice fit for my personality as it allows me to split my time between work that is creative and work that is technical. I love working from home as it allows me a good deal of freedom and allows me to be my own boss (something else that fits well with my personality). It also provides me with the time and freedom to write, something that has become a passion of mine.

I am now twenty-nine years old and continue to gaze towards the future. I can only speculate on what my future includes. I hope it includes writing a book or two. I hope it includes working towards that Masters of Divinity degree I desired many years ago. I would be surprised to learn that it includes a call to ministry but I would not rule that out. I quite enjoy life as it is right now, yet I am by nature a restless person and tend to look to the future more often than is healthy. I’m getting older but I think I still have some time to learn what I’ll be when I really grow up. Whether I continue to be a web designer or whether I am called to some type of ministry, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I will be just fine as long as God continues to travel this road with me, for He is both the theme and the author of my story.

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