Please bear with me, as this will take a bit of time to really explain:
I graduated from college two years ago with a degree in philosophy. I was a student athlete, and philosophy attracted me for a variety of reasons, namely because it came naturally to me and so was easy to pursue with high grades without sacrificing for my sport. In addition, it was the closest I could come to studying theology at a public university, and philosophy majors also had excellent success in being accepted to basically any and all forms of graduate school (but especially law school, which I believed to be my vocation at the time), so it was a good idea on many fronts.
Fast forward through those two years, and with a lot of prayer and introspection, I have found that God has called me instead to join the Air Force. I went through the application process a year and a half ago, and I was accepted to become a pilot. Since then, I have been waiting to find out when I go to OTS (basic training for those entering the service without having first gone to a service academy or an ROTC program at their university), and have not found it prudent to pursue a more permanent job (especially since those are virtually nonexistent for philosophers). I have had a variety of part-time jobs that I found fulfilling enough, and they also paid enough for me to keep my head above water while I wait.
However, also in these two years, I met a woman, formed a relationship with her through the Theology of the Body group that she and her sister led on campus, fell in love, and married her April 26 of this year. I am out of my mind excited and joyful beyond belief that God led me to such a holy woman! She really is the perfect spouse for me, and I am so excited to be her husband, to live with her, and most importantly to be her companion on the journey home to heaven. She challenges me every day to be a holier man, to more perfectly follow the example set by Christ on the Cross, and we are eager to embrace the many challenges God will bring our way in the (hopefully) many years to come!
Please forgive my above exuberance. Anyway, my wife is very supportive of my calling to the military life and is excited for the challenges and travels that my service will bring. What’s more, she is a nurse, makes far more money than I do now, and will be able to get a job anywhere we go throughout my career. However, her income alone isn’t enough for us to pay the bills and quickly eliminate the student loan debt that we accumulated in college, and we feel called to be parents soon and need extra money for this to be a reality.
A final piece to all of this before I introduce my moral dilemma. I received a phone call Monday afternoon from my recruiter informing me that I will be shipping off to OTS on September 17th. So we now have a date that this adventure will take its next turn, and it’s only 3 months away.
So here is my moral quandary. I am working PRN at a nursing home. The hourly pay is decent for the work that I do, but I can’t get the hours I need to make the income worthwhile. On the other hand, they won’t hire me to a real part-time or full-time position because I’m leaving in less than 3 months. So a week ago I got another job delivering pizzas. The hours are much better because this pizza place is open until 5AM, so I can work both of my jobs, and since my wife is a night-shift nurse, our schedules don’t conflict completely. To top it all off, I made more money through tips in my first three nights there than I usually make in a week at the nursing home.
However, I found out this this pizza place isn’t a completely honest place of business. Their standards of employment regularly lead them to hire known drug users, the managers have been known to steal from their employees in the past, and, to top it all off, one of their area locations is INSIDE a strip club.
The job that I do is amoral. Selling pizzas is not a sin. This organization has a right to sell those pizzas. So on the surface, it looks as though there isn’t a problem. But my wife isn’t totally comfortable knowing that the place for which I work is a known associate with a strip club, and I am inclined to share her discomfort. On the other hand, we both agree that I could potentially be a force for good in such a place, sharing my faith with “tax collectors,” so to speak. I know I am a sinner, and I don’t hold myself above these people, but I also know that the company I choose to keep by my free choice to work there could reflect scandalously to others who know me. I don’t want to work there if it becomes a negative reflection of my faith or on my wife, but we need the money, and I am concerned that I simply lack the time to find something else.
Sorry for the length of the post! If anyone read all the way to the end, I thank you from the bottom of my heart, and if anyone can offer sound advice, I would appreciate it even more!