This whole preparation for ministry thing is a mix of working, learning, testing, waiting and hoop-jumping. I’ve truly enjoyed 90% of the learning part. Hebrew has been less fun, but I think that had more to do with the pedagogical disconnect between the instructor and me. Even Church History wasn’t bad… and I don’t like history.
Testing will come, but I feel like the coursework is doing a good job of preparing me for the Ordination Exams. The working will come even sooner, with internships starting in the fall. I think the waiting and the meetings with people who help determine whether I move forward in the process are the hardest part. I’d love to say it’s not a control issue. But I suppose it is. There is something in us that wants to be able to say, “really, I’ve got this covered.” To other people and to God.
Thing is, it’s not ok to just “have it covered” and move forward without counsel. No man (or woman) is an island, which is something I’ve been learning in new, painful and glorious ways lately. This is particularly true in the church, given that those of us who are called to ordained ministry are taking on some of the most difficult aspects of community that people experience. It’s one thing to love those people we choose to have in our lives, but it’s wholly different to look at the people placed around you and love them, show compassion to them, pray for them, and be available to support them.
And so, I spent time talking with leaders from my church this week. And in a couple more weeks I will do the same with people from several churches in our presbytery. Answering questions, telling my stories, sharing my understanding and my questions about theology, and hoping that they have some insight into what it is that God is calling this broken person into. It’s been a little hard to come to that place. But I’m glad I’m here. And I’m glad I’ve written this down, so that I can revisit these thoughts and remind myself.