This was supposed to be a longer process. There was another job that I had agreed to do a face to face interview with this past weekend. Then we would weigh the issues and make a decision. The problem was that the longer my lady wife and I talked the more we realized we had already made up our minds. When we confronted the question of “Why are we still going to interview #2” we realized that the answer was “Just to be polite”.
The basic jobs were pretty much the same. If we assume that we would love the congregation and location as much as we loved Job #1 then it came down to a financial decision. And Job #1 was going to win. In reality it simply came down to this: we had found everything we were looking for in the job, the location and the congregation. I would have been going into the second interview hoping, at least in part, that they wouldn’t be as good so I wouldn’t have to turn down the first job. What kind of attitude is that to take into a job interview?
For my kind of position these are not hour long or even multi-hour long events. These take a couple days. The congregations have to lay out some serious cash to cover travel, hotel and expenses. To ask someone to do that when your heart really isn’t in it is just dishonest. I couldn’t do it. So I called Job #2 and told them we weren’t coming. They weren’t happy but accepted it gracefully. Fortunately there were no plane tickets involved. (I thought it was strange that I felt such a strong urge to drive to that interview. It’s over 600 miles. Divine intervention/inspiration? I don’t commonly go there but…)
Is there a possibility that some time down the road I may regret not at least checking out Job #2? Yes. But we firmly believe that THIS is where we are supposed to be and that we can be very, very happy here. I move forward with no intention of looking back. Decision made. There is no buyer’s remorse.
So with a little luck I will begin my role as Director of Youth Formation (I think that’s the title. Since I care not a whit about titles I tend to overlook them) at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Midlothian Virginia at the beginning of June. In a matter of days we felt as if we had known them for years. I will take all the things I’ve learned from my time in WNY and try to apply them to this new life and ministry.
Yes, I’m nervous, even a little scared. I have to find a place to live then get us moved. It means being farther away from our daughter than we’ve ever been except for when she’s studying abroad. Plus finding all the daily needs (groceries, doctors, mechanics, banks, places to get my hair cut, etc). There’s the challenge of living in a new part of the country, trying to find my place in a new faith community, and working on building the trust and relationships that are at the core of what I do. My unavoidable inner critic is whispering words of failure and defeat in my ear when I let him. I’ll try not packing him for the move.
I’m ready for my next real job.
Now I know what that will be.
And I’ll keep you up to date on how that goes.