So I happened to be riveted to ESPN to follow the story of Theo Epstein’s move from the Boston Red Sox to the Chicago Cubs. Epstein, a lifelong Red Sox fan became the General Manager of the club and thus, was living his dream job.
And now he’s giving up that dream job and moving on to the Cubs because of differences with Boston management and the challenge of bringing a World Series to a second cursed team that hasn’t won the World Series in a century (literally).
Colin Cowherd on ESPN said: “Dream jobs are overrated. Make the job you’ve got a dream.”
I know I’ve had what I thought was a dream job a few times. I worked in all sports radio in New York City started an award winning website and wrote a book…all dream like situations and good experiences. But ultimately the novelty faded and I began to look beyond them.
Ron Rohlheiser, OMI, one of the premier theologians in the Western Hemisphere came to the Paulist 150th Anniversary conference. I was thrilled to be seated with him at breakfast. He’s a very unassuming person, down-to-earth and I enjoyed our conversation immensely. He asked me how I got into ministry and I gave him the genesis of my media work and how it led to working at BustedHalo.
Fr. Ron is a HUGE baseball fan. So when he heard I had covered the Yankees, he squealed, “YOU COVERED MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL? That would be my dream job!” Here I was envious of this great theologian and he in turn was envious of my past. I told him how it became wanting, but fun most of the time–but how I longed to be more than just a reporter.
He nodded. “I guess our dreams sometimes disappoint us?” he said.
“At least this one wasn’t a nightmare!” I replied. “Just a dream I wouldn’t want to have all that often.”
We laughed our theology mixing with our love of baseball. I regaled him with a few stories finding it hard to believe that I was talking baseball and not theology with this learned man. I’m pretty sure he loved it as he probably doesn’t get that opportunity to talk about baseball all that much. And I’m sure at times it’s a chore to talk theology with people for him.
And yet, I know that while radio wasn’t where God was ultimately calling me, it was where I learned much and used that opportunity for the best. I lived a dream. I covered the World Series and the Stanley Cup parade. More importantly, I got to meet myself a bit more and find that my dreams were deeper than I imagined. I took every opportunity and worked in the biggest media market. That’s something to be proud of and to treasure. Indeed I made it a dream and took that experience into every job since.
This week I have been able to collaborate with both the Medical School and the Athletics Department here at UB. There are strong possibilities that I might teach a course to medical students and that I might get to be a sport chaplain for one of our teams. Two more dreams that I hadn’t expected. Opportunities are all around us—even in the most dire of conditions. It is our efforts each day that bring us closer to our deepest desires–and those might end up being a lot more simple than we think. I mean who would have thought that I’d feel more at home being a confidant to athletes and students than someone who reports on their shenanigans on television or radio? The spotlight needs to be aimed where you’d like it to be—so that God might see the best version of yourself.
Each day at your job ask yourself, where might I be called to do something that makes a difference, where I can find a bit more meaning in my life.
It’s there that you’ll find God.
And that’s the only way that your job will ever be a lot more than a dream.
Good luck to Theo Epstein in Chicago. I’m a fan so I hope he can break the curse. But I also know he’ll simply take this opportunity and make his new job a dream.