I've been meaning to post this picture of my dad for a long time. But, when I tried to post it before, I just got a black spot on the screen. But thanks to Marsha and David, I learned how to change the format I saved it in, and now, you can all see this wonderful picture of my dad when he was a young man.
This picture probably was taken before I was born (maybe even before he was married). He's standing in his shop (He sold and repaired radios and TVs). He looks young and happy, and, if I may be allowed to say so, kind of cute. I love all of the old radios in the background. Of course, they weren't old then.
Every once in awhile, my mom would take me to my dad's shop and I would hang out with him while she ran errands or went shopping. The shop was full of kind of unusual smells; if picture tubes have a smell, that's what it smelled like in there. I especially liked to explore in back where all of the parts were kept. The display window, with the latest models, was cool, too.
Somewhere along the line, my dad got an orange van that he would take to work. He used to transport the TVs back and forth in the van. And he gave us rides too. Since the van rode a little higher than a car, he would pretend it was an airplane, and say "Pilot to copilot. Pilot to copilot. Ready for take-off." Then, we were supposed to look in the rear view mirror.
Later on, the neighborhood where my dad's shop was located became rougher and poorer. Sometimes we would get a call in the middle of the night; someone had broken in. Once, he said, he had been held up while he was working.
As well, the competition got tougher: department stores, Best Buy, others. People stopped having their TVs repaired. Just buy a new one. So, finally, my dad quit his business and started working at a big department store in our town.
I suppose my dad's business at least in part accounts for my passion for small businesses. The small shop seems a thing of the past, though. Sometimes I think, if I weren't a pastor, I'd love to have a small book store. Maybe a book store with a coffee shop.
Of course, I'd miss preaching, and teaching, and leading worship. Also going to the hospital and the nursing homes. I'd miss baptizing babies and meeting with couples. I think I'd miss a couple of other things, too.
I think that being a pastor (especially a solo pastor) is a little like running a small business. In both cases, you have to be somewhat of a generalist. My dad's shop advertised "Sales and Service." He both sold new TVs and radios, and repaired old ones. In the church, we offer new life and repair old ones, as well.