In my past life, I was a golf professional. Not like the ones you see on television, but a club pro (I ran a shop, gave lessons, etc.).
Anyhow, yes, I was pretty good at a young age. But note that I just said I wasn’t on television. So I wasn’t that good. Just good enough to get in on the business side of it and teach others the game.
At the apex of my career, I remember the stress of going out and playing with friends, family, and members. See, I was working 50–60 hours a week in the shop behind the counter. The last place I wanted to go on my occasional days off was the golf course.
I stopped practicing.
So my game went to hell.
When I went out to play with people, they expected me to shoot 67 every time. But when I shot a cool 89, they were stunned. Like, wait a minute, I thought this guy was a pro.
And I was (but remember, not that kind of a pro). It was frustrating not being able to meet up to their expectations. I really wanted to blow them away and impress them. But really, I just wanted to enjoy the game again. Which my ego made hard to do.
I still have a lot of work to do before I become a minister in the credentialed sense. But I’m already seeing the parallels between this field and that from my previous life as a golf pro in this regard. Only, as a minister, you don’t only face this pressure on the golf course. You face it in all waking hours of your life.
Even now that people know I’m becoming a minister (aka: not one yet), I feel I can’t cuss, yell at my dog, or get frustrated when my WiFi signal is bad. This could very well be self-imposed (usually is), but I can’t help but say what I’m making up about it.
When you turn pro, you have to manage the self-imposed gap between reality and the bloated expectations of your ego.
I think it’s similar in most any profession.
How dare a writer use bad grammar.
How dare a teacher not know the capitol of Mississippi.
How dare a marriage counselor get annoyed with her husband.
No one ever said it was easy turning pro.