So, you may have heard by now, but I announced my retirement as pastor a couple of weeks ago. It’s been a wonderful twenty-five years, as I have gotten to work with and serve some amazing people. I’ve written about one thousand articles and preached about two thousand sermons. This is my next to last article, and my last sermon at the church will be November 1.
Now what to do next with my life?
I’m thinking about becoming a financial advisor like my friend Joe Garrett. I’m tired of preaching and asking people to give money; instead I will become a financial advisor where people bring their money willingly and ask me where to put it.
I know that my recommendation for my replacement at the church doesn’t mean much, but I think Joe is the right choice. I’ve not asked Joe if he’s interested, but why wouldn’t he be? His office is only a stone’s throw from our church, so he wouldn’t even have to change parking spots. We Baptists are good, by the way, at throwing stones.
Joe is extremely talented; he writes, sings, does impersonations, plays instruments, and has a modest amount of athletic skill as well. He is so talented, it is disgusting. Don’t you hate people like that? I do. I hate Joe, but I think he would make a wonderful replacement. By the way, people are always getting us confused anyway, with his column on Sundays and mine on Fridays. So, basically, Joe and I can swap jobs. Joe was destined to become a preacher, by the way, according to his kindergarten teacher. She says that Joe, as a four-year-old, got on a chair and preached to the class.
Joe has more hair on top than I do and no beard/moustache. I think that if I am going to become a financial advisor then I need a new identity. Would you trust your money to someone with facial hair? For years I have asked my family if they would be OK if I got rid of the facial hair. They adamantly said, “It has to stay.” They say they wouldn’t really know me apart from the facial hair and besides, some kids at church call me “the stache.”
Well, when I take on Joe’s identity, what a great time to take a razor to the whiskers above my lips. So, say goodbye to the beard/moustache that I got when I was old enough to shave. It’s the new me!
I must admit that becoming a financial advisor has me a tad nervous. I’ve done the
reaching/minister thing for about forty years, and I have a pretty good idea how to do it.
I’ve lived in the ministerial fish bowl or glass house, and I would not know how to live without it. I am accustomed to holding in my temper when playing golf for fear that someone will see me beating the ground with a club or cursing like a deacon, and then be deeply offended. So, when I become a financial advisor, can I take my anger out on an unsuspecting tree on the golf course or can I use bad words because the dang golf ball went this way when I wanted it to go that way? Financial advisors can but preachers can’t.
I guess someone could train me on the skills needed for financial advising, but I’m a bit skeptical. I have always joked that my calling into ministry came right in the middle of a calculus exam. I looked up at the heavens and asked “Is that other job (ministry) still available?” I guess I am pretty good at math and numbers, but making a living doing that is scaring the daylights out of me.
In spite of my hesitations and fears, I think swapping jobs with Joe is a great idea. He will make a great preacher. Though he is not a Baptist, we can make him one quickly. All it takes is a little water (OK, a lot of water).
And like I said, Joe’s office is just a block from our church. We won’t even have to change parking spots. He will have to get used to wearing a suit on Sundays, but that’s about it. Oh, and he’ll have to grow a beard/moustache. The preacher here for the last twenty-five years has had one.
PS—I jest. I’m not becoming a financial advisor. I can’t even plan my own finances. And Joe a preacher? Well, he can wait until Jimmy Swaggart retires.
PS #2—My last article will be next week. I know its sad for both of my readers.