What would you do if you weren't a priest?" This is a question I get regularly. And the answer is, "I'd become one!"
Behind this question there is a lot of things that a person assumes. "Father must be unhappy...Father must regret his choice...Father used to have dreams, now he's eternally stuck as a priest!"
The Priesthood is not a job. Being a priest is not like becoming a computer programmer who is perpetually writing code until the Second Coming.
The Priesthood, like Matrimony, is a vocation. A vocation is not the job you have, it's model which gives shape to your job, personal interactions, choice of recreation, etc.
Both priests and laity are involved in education, administration, counselling, custodial work, and construction - but in different forms.
In fact, in each of these areas, I believe I have an advantage as a priest (not by any merit of my own, but by Grace). There is a tremendous amount of variety on any given day. We all have legitimate worries and concerns, but my concerns as a priest are about lives, families, meaning, and salvation itself. So many people feel guilty about carving out intimate time with the Master, as a priest it's expected and built in.
Being a priest is not settling. Its not putting away dreams. It's about never settling for mediocrity, its about expanding dreams to reach Heaven.
"I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope." Jer. 29:11
Fr. James Zettel