If you weren’t doing biblical studies, what would you be doing . . . ?

Taking a cue from last night’s episode of So You Think You Can Dance (which I’m guessing only myself and Jim West watch to represent that all important biblioblogger demographic), where they asked the contestants what they would be doing if they weren’t dancers, I began to ponder a similar question for myself.

Biblical studies is my passion, and I honestly can’t imagine doing anything else!  But, if biblical studies were not my chosen career path, what would I be doing?  There are three possibilities that pique my interest (in no particular order):

1) Lawyer
2) Psychologist
3) Chef

Being a lawyer would afford a certain level of financial solubility and I think would be interesting to try for a day.  But I just couldn’t handle defending someone I knew was guilty.  A psychologist takes me back to my first year of undergrad, when I was a psych major (for all of two weeks!).  I’m not too terribly interested in the material after that experience, but in watching shows like Intervention and Obsessed on A&E, it doesn’t seem like being one is actually that difficult (a terrible reduction and trivialization, I know).  But, I could do that!  And while I don’t like to cook–namely because I dislike cleaning up afterwards–being a chef would be a fun experience.  Not a cook at Red Lobster or anything . . . a real chef, like Bobby Flay or Mario Batali.  My wife and I love the Next Food Network Star, and often end up discussing how fun it would be to be a chef.  Of course, I am a terribly finicky eater (I hate lettuce, tomatoes, mayo, rice, onions . . . . ), so my palette likely would not afford me much success as a chef.

It seems based upon these reflections that it is a good thing I’m pursuing biblical studies!  I can truly say it is my passion, and what I feel I am meant to do.  But, if I weren’t, this is  a hint at what I may be doing instead.

How about you?   If you weren’t in biblical studies, what career path would you have chosen?  What would you like to try?


14 thoughts on “If you weren’t doing biblical studies, what would you be doing . . . ?

  1. anummabrooke says:

    Fantasy response: wilderness guide in the great northern woods (we don’t get out much in our own line of work, eh?).

    Reality response: prooobably secondary school teacher, but subject is hard to pin down: history? literature and writing?

  2. John Anderson says:

    That’s a great way to couch it, Brooke. Fantasy response and Reality response.

    If I were following the narrative of my life, I SHOULD have answered either a) still working at Wells Fargo Financial Bank [or laid off from WFFB!]; b) a psychologist. Secondary ed is another possibility . . . likely history.

  3. Roy "Eli" Garton says:

    I definitely could see you as being an excellent lawyer, John . . . but only as a prosecuting attorney. 🙂 As for the psychologist thing, I’m not sure you’d have the empathy and patience to listen to your patients and their problems. Moreover, having experienced first-hand your fastidious palate, I nearly choked on my coffee when I read the word “chef”! All that to say, John, aside from the attorney thing, I think you’ve made some excellent career choices.

    Now as for myself, I too have imagined myself as a legal counselor . . . specifically a high-end divorce attorney. The divorce rates in this country would all but insure job security. However, I’m not sure I would actually enjoy such a job; there’s just too much work and not enough time off . . . that is, according to my two friends who happen to be lawyers.

    My ultimate dream career, however, is to be a voice-over character. Now I don’t fancy myself as a Patrick Warburton, or anything, but the idea of losing oneself in animated character appeals to my love of the animated, sense of humor, and want of a flexible lifestyle . . . or, at least I imagine it would. 🙂

    My third and final career fantasy — and this is a long shot, mind you — would be that of a young adult fantasy writer, the likes of Tolkien, Salvatore, and Weis & Hickman. (O.K., it’s official: I’m a nerd. I know it and am proud of it!) Not only do I enjoy writing within this genre, but rare occasion it can be rather lucrative. Of course, I’d have to employ a really good proofreader! 🙂

    So what do you think, mein freund?

  4. John Anderson says:


    You’d be amazed how patient and empathetic I can be when I’m making 50-100 bucks an hour!

    When my wife and I have spoken, my palette has been the one thing that would, as you point out, hold me back as a chef. I suppose I would have to like very basic foods, like fish, lettuce, rice, any seafood, etc. Since I don’t, I suspect you are indeed corect I would be a horrible chef.

    Of course, the REAL ANSWER I didn’t include in this post–and I’m not being entirely sarcastic here at all–is that if WWE came a’ calling (that’s World Wrestling Entertainment for you non-fans), I’d likely take them up on any offer.

    Oh yeah . . . . dream job, outside biblical studies—anything with WWE.

  5. brianfulthorp says:

    if not a pastor, probably either a special ed teacher (K-8); social worker/case manager (specifically for folks with disabilities); chaplain (probably in a hospital setting).

  6. Celucien Joseph says:

    If I have not studied theology, I would probably become a medical doctor. For I was a premed student for about 3 years before I switched to theology. In addition to that, I have always wanted to be a medical doctor to care for people.

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