How many human cannonballs at the circus can call themselves “Oxford-trained”? 30-year-old Gary Stocker, with law degree in tow, left a six figure income working as an academic law writer and legal recruitment officer and “ran away with Chaplin’s Circus” (Lizzy Buchan, Cambridge News Online, 7/11/14). He actually is starting up the circus with a buddy he worked with as a street performer as a teenager, and he actually had continuing various performances while a student at the prestigious British university. While many would be baffled to think of one leaving a comfortable, white-collar occupation for one that has been for the more common, blue-collar person since ancient Roman times, Stocker is choosing what he loves over what others thought more suitable for him.
A thought occurred to me as a new class is about to embark on their studies at the Bear Valley Bible Institute next week. There is an analogy here, as men come to us not only from High School but more often from medical, business, agricultural, mechanical, military, law enforcement, and other professions. For 50 years, men have been leaving jobs, often well-paying, respectable ones, to pursue “the foolishness of preaching” (cf. 1 Co. 1:18-21). Some, even close friends, brethren, and family, may question their thinking for undertaking such a pursuit and even offer resistance and dissuasion. When they graduate and go into full-time ministry, they may never regain the income or have the notoriety they would have enjoyed in the secular world. However, it can be argued they will be entering the most noble, worthwhile profession there is. To work with the people of God and to bring the lost to God provides endless, invigorating opportunity and excitement. Each day is new, exciting, and rewarding. Though it has its pressures, disappointments, and trials, it is a work that is easy to love!
There are men who may be successfully toiling in some other field, but they leave it for a love of preaching. Thank God for these men. Let us encourage them and ever have a hand in helping these “up and comers” in their new profession!