December in St. Petersburg, Florida. I was excited because not only was it Christmastime, my birthday was coming up, too. Some people say it’s possible to have too much of a good thing, but tell that to any 4th grader who has 2 rounds of presents coming in the same month and you’ll be laughed out of the building. Impossible. To understand the significance of what I’m about to tell you, you may have to use your imagination. It was the mid-80s so there were no smartphones. There were no GoPros. No Internet, no HD televisions. No tablets, no digital photo cameras. No Dash Cams. We didn’t have Wikipedia, we had actual encyclopedias. There were huge boxy televisions… with maybe 50 channels, maybe. Phones were plugged into the wall and were attached by a cord. Computers were not very common and definitely not essential to everyday living. It was a world very unlike the one we live in now. Most families had one video camera, if any. And it was a giant VHS camcorder that was so big the back half rested on your shoulder while your hand propped up the front. Parents used it to record Christmases, birthday parties, maybe a child’s sporting event, or having fun in the back yard. Or hilarious sledding accidents. Yes, what you’re about to see is my brother crashing, then sounding like a girl.
Footage on those VHS tapes was precious, special, and regarded as delicate because it only existed in one spot, on that tape.
So on this memorable birthday, I received a gift that would change my world forever. In fact, I can probably dedicate my entire professional existence to the present my grandparents Mom-Mom and Pop gave me that day. My very own PXL2000.
picture from eBay user indorin
I know what you’re thinking: he was the baddest 4th grader in all of the states. I felt it.
So it shouldn’t be a surprise that since then, I’ve been making videos. Some of which are on the Internet… like this, this, or this. Also not surprising that I would seek work in a related field. That’s how I ended up at Country Music Television and volunteering as a camera operator at my church.
Because of the persistent notion that there’s more out there for me (what this reawakening is all about), I found it curious that I recently got an email about a job opening at church. It was exactly lined up with my skill set and seemed to be dropped in my lap. Could this be the next step I’m supposed to take? The next chapter of my life? I couldn’t dismiss the timing of this job possibility. So I was open to exploring it as an option, even responding with the intentions of later sending in my reel and resume for consideration. Full disclosure, though, I had one hesitation: I’ve never wanted to work for a church, and more clearly, I’ve wanted to never work for a church. The reason for such a decision is simple, and I suppose it’s become a sort of mantra for me: I will go to church because I want to, not because I have to. For me, my own life and my own journey, I don’t like the idea of getting paid to be at church. I envision it stealing the joy from my life. Turning it into a sense of duty instead of an act of worship and a recharging of my soul. I wholeheartedly support those that do work in churches, and I love that they can work in a place where they can also worship and serve.
So the more I think about this particular offer, I’m realizing that it’s pretty much the same thing I do now at CMT, just a different location. It might ultimately lead to some sort of dissatisfaction, although I would feel a stronger sense of fulfillment there. Evenso, I won’t pursue the job any further. I love volunteering at my church, and perhaps that’s exactly how I’m supposed to be connected there. Either way, there’s a take-away from this whole post… if you only remember one thing:
I was the baddest 4th grader in all the states.
-Out of the Wilderness