Coincidence or Calling?

In an ideal world managing a strip club is unlikely to occur along the path to Glory–the key word being “ideal”.

Here’s something I wrote late December 2014 (certainly just a coincidence–I turned 34 last July): “33 is a big year for me. Laughing, I told George the other day that only after having finished this book did I remember that I predicted back in church camp years ago that 33 was when I’d start my calling. Ha. Everyone else always acted like it was in/around college that they would begin their calling. Well, at 18 I said that I felt mine would begin at 33 because that’s how old Jesus was (give or take) when they killed him. Immature, misguided, morbid, delusional, but true [I said it] nonetheless. And you can bet I never imagined my calling would be a book centered on divorce. Suffice it to say, I can’t wait to hit 34 and laugh at my prophetic abilities. Either way, I’m certain that no matter what it is going to be a helluva lot of fun.”

That was about two months before my first day (on the job) at the club.

Five-ish months later I was sweating whether or not I’d get my application to a master’s program at a seminary in on time. (New passenger? Welcome aboard. Now read this.)

When I visited campus they had a movable-type board with my first and last name on it welcoming me. Imagine me staring in disbelief at the board. It had my name and the name of the woman who I went to church with (after skipping for a decade) and whose pastor introduced me to N.T. Wright’s New Testament and the People of God books back in 2013–the reading of which subsequently led me to return to church Dec. 2014. Naturally, the name on the board wasn’t representative of my friend, it was just that there is more than one woman with that first and last name and apparently one of the other ones was visiting campus that day. Coincidence–that one’s easy.

Hoping to move onto campus asap, and with my current lease running out in October, I discovered there was no room at the inn. At least until December, but even then it would be iffy. May for sure, they said. Setback.

Then in late September as I was trying to make arrangements with my apartment office, I stopped into the campus housing office and they actually had a family moving out mid-semester due to finding a ministry position that wanted him before the semester was up. My lease was up in October and so I moved onto campus in October. Ehhh. That one could go either way, coincidence/calling. Let’s stick with coincidence.

December 11th rolls around; it’s the last day of class. I completed four of five finals on that day alone. And I was alive. Full time work and 15 hours of masters courses passed. My folks were scheduled to visit us over Christmas and then I’d catch up on some Greek before the spring semester started.

December 14th I’m fired from the club. Despite having been promoted to manager in record time and receiving a healthy raise only a month earlier, “Poor performance” and “making employees and entertainers alike uncomfortable” the reasons given. Uncomfortable? God doesn’t exist, right? Masters in theology shouldn’t be any different than a masters in literature. Whatever.

H- and I were therefore able to visit my folks and siblings etc. and when we returned I headed to a pizza place to inquire about a job as a delivery dude. When I was applying (my first time in the store) I saw a familiar face in the back and soon discovered he’s familiar because he’s the vendor that also delivered to the club. His high praise added to the moment and I got the job. I’m sure his being there was a coincidence.

So this semester I’m paying the bills, and have plenty of time to dedicate to my studies, which may or may not be my calling.

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