It's funny, recently more than usual I've been thinking heavily about ministry, my vocation and the future. Not a good idea for a person in the process of candidating for ordained ministry. I think it's a bit like a person contemplating jumping off a diving platform and thinking carefully about the distance between them and the deep pool beneath. If they thought about it in too much detail they'd probably go back down the steps and go home!
As a child, candidating for ministry seemed a bit like a fairytale - something a long, long way off that if ever it happened wouldn't be successful and not go the way I thought it ought to go. This week I've been preparing my portfolio, signing forms and receiving e-mails from church officials about the candidating process. Suddenly the reality hit me!
The thought of being a Methodist minister, with my own manse, my own flock, my own church(es) is a VERY startling one!
The thing I can't get my head around is why God, who is so majestic, so perfect and so great would call a sinner like me to work in His vineyard................. speaking to an older minister I know she said that feeling never goes away and we both agreed that it'd be pretty odd if a person thought themselves worthy of God's work in any case. That's all well and good but the feeling is still disconcerting and hard to deal with.
What if it's a hint...............?
It's so easy to think too much about something and in the end, a bit like the diver i was talking about to feel so fearful that we turn our back on the challenge and take the easier path. Sometimes I think I'd much rather go back down the steps and go home.........not much of a diver me.
There's something about offering for ministry that feels a bit like signing up to the army. Candidates really do put their lives into the hands of the selection committee and just have to hope for the best outcome. How can these people who don't know me or know much about my vocation, make a fair decision on whether i'm "fit" for ministry or not?
True faith, they say, is trust. I'm not in the mood for trusting God at the moment.......it's that time of year. Exams are coming, university awaits, driving tests, music tests and all sorts are approaching ohhh not to forget the candidating portfolio and the last of my preaching assignments as well as my final interview and all of that. To be honest I'd much rather do it in my own strength, in my own way, at my own pace and keep God out of the picture, but as we all know telling the guy upstairs to get lost only ends in complete mess, so I guess i'm sticking with Him for this one!
Prayers please! For me............................... ohhh, and all the others who are jumping off the diving platform into that daunting pool called the Candidating process!