On Fridays and Saturdays, I trade in the polo shirt for a deck of cards and deal cash games, tournaments, and the occasional sit-n-go at the local bowling alley. I know most of the guys that come in (and they attend quite frequently) and I honestly enjoy my time, even if I'm not doing any gambling or drinking.
Like most of my interests now, I get hesitant about being so engrossed in something. Is it right? Could I be doing something more useful with my time? Am I forgetting about what is important to me? Is this where God is leading me, or am I just spending a couple of nights out "with the guys" to keep me from sitting home alone with my thoughts?
Father Host is worried about the amount of hours I'm working because of my chronic condition.
Since that time, I've sat with it and prayed the best I could. The extra hours make me tired, and dealing poker is probably frowned upon by most seminaries, but perhaps I do have a reason for being there:
- It's a way for me to meet and connect with new people - not just for games, but on a personal level. Like bartenders, card dealers are privy to the private lives of many people.
- I am the "good guy" at the table. I don't drink, I don't curse, I don't make fun when someone chases the river, and I make sure the drinkers get a ride instead of driving home.
- God isn't just in church on Sundays...God's there when things are good. God's there when we've done wrong. God's there when you've lost $500 from gambling, and perhaps you need someone to talk to or help, if you feel you might have a gambling problem.
- Having a card dealer named "Vito" is just damn cool, and it brings people back week after week.
I don't know if I'm supposed to find someone or something while I'm dealing poker, I don't know if this job will only last until I pay off my back debts (per my vocation director), or maybe I have God's plan all messed up.
But for now, barring any flaming bush or booming voice from the sky, I'll keep dealing cards and raking in money for whatever charity sponsors the event. I'm sure there are far worse jobs that a budding priest-to-be could have....