Friday, August 20, 2004

Let's just say I'm a writer

I've had a lot of diverse jobs in my life. I worked as a professional actor for a while. I roofed houses in the summer and built porches during the winter (which is really strange considering I barely know the difference between a hammer and a screwdriver). I sold piano for a while. Yes, that's piano -- as in single -- as in one. I wasn't very good at it. I did corporate fundraising for non-profit organizations. That always sounds impressive. And, of course, I was in vocational ministry for about six years.

Then I decided to find a more God-honoring way to make a living. That's a joke to all my friends who still have to suffer through elders' meetings and budget committees.

So, about two years ago I thought I'd re-invent myself as an academician. I enrolled in a Ph.D. program, moved my family halfway across the country so I could do research and began calling myself a "theologian." I grew a beard. I gave in to my moody and temperamental side. I started using words like metanarrative in sentences.

It was this time last year when I stopped that. I was at a sports bar having lunch with a good friend and someone I'd never met before. The question inevitably came up: "So, John, what do you do?"

I told him I was a theologian.

He sat for a moment, looked around to make sure no one was eavesdropping, leaned in and whispered, "Does that have something to do with sex?"

I said, "Sometimes."

Now I just tell people I'm a writer.