CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith and Life for the Years of Winter…
For forty years, from when I started preaching until I retired, I tried to get out of the ministry. Not every day, but every once in a while. I probably thought about it every day, but didn’t actually try to do it except once in a while.
One such time was when Glen Bothwell was one of my church members. He was the CEO of a large industrial supply business in Chicago. I asked him for a job. He said he had an opening for a salesman and was willing to hire me, but he thought I should come to a sales meeting before we sealed the deal. The meeting was about selling a new insecticide. I have never been more bored in my life! I decided I could stick it out in ministry a while longer.
Glen admitted later that he chose that meeting because he thought it would change my mind, but that it was even more boring than he had anticipated. He said it made him think about going into the ministry himself.
I don’t think he was serious about that, but he would probably have been good in the ministry. I’m sure I would have been a disaster as a salesman of any kind, especially pesticides. I’ve always appreciated Glen’s thoughtfulness in exposing me to the boredom of his particular world.
Truth is, though, most of the church meetings I have attended were as boring as that sales meeting. I think the reason politicians are so nasty, hypocritical, greedy, egotistical, arrogant, unfeeling, small-minded, and self-serving is because they have to spend so much time in meetings. Committee meetings are a gateway drug to sin.
I rarely agree with George Will, but I do think he was right on when he said that football combines the two worst tendencies of American life, violence and committee meetings.