Life is full of little inconveniences. The sort of thing that, when you really think about it, don’t matter that much.
You’ve brewed your cup of tea but when you open the fridge to get the milk you discover that there isn’t any. You just miss a bus and have to wait 10 minutes for the next, knowing that in reality you could miss that one too and still get to work in time. You’ve returned from holiday and are ready to go full steam ahead with your work but now your colleagues are on holiday.
I’ve started back at work after a week away with my family. It was a week of exploring the world through a child’s eyes and seeing the smiles on their faces. They are my little reminder of how to approach life and my faith, with the simplicity of a child (Luke 18:15-17).
Now starting back into the daily grind, with the routine replacing spontaneity, my mind is returning to my exploration of ordination. The truth be told I never forgot about it but was distracted by my local diocese publishing the audio version of last week’s blog (Do you feel tolerant? Well, do ya, punk?) on their website.
As the distractions fade my mind has less to focus on, so it isn’t surprising that ordination is back at the forefront of my mind. I am chomping at the bit, ready to go and start going through the 9 criteria. But I am missing the colleague I need. I’m still waiting for the DDO to get in contact. Perhaps they are on holiday…
Sure it’s a little frustrating, but in the grand scheme of things it is but a little inconvenience. It isn’t exactly a short journey to ordination, the destination of focus bar a diversion.
I got a sense of the length of the journey ahead when I explained what I was doing to my brother. He had asked me if I had got the church job yet! As I said to him, it isn’t quite the normal case of applying for a job, going for an interview and then starting if you are successful.
From meeting with your vicar to going to a BAP and starting training can take anything between 1 and 3 years, so I’ve been told! The training at a theological college can take between 2 and 3 years. If you end up on the route to vicardom, there’s a curacy which tend to last 4 years.
That’s between 7 and 10 years from starting exploring before someone might lead a church as its vicar. Or put it another way, it takes the same time to become a vicar as it does to become a doctor.
That brought it home to me how serious it is to be a vicar. Both doctors and vicars are concerned with people’s health, one physical, the other spiritual. Both are important but if I’m honest I’ve always rated doctors are more significant. I know that God considers our spiritual health and relationship with Him at the highest possible level. He did send His only son as an atoning sacrifice for us!
So whilst I wait for the DDO I am going to go beyond speed reading the Bible each day. I am going to do what I know I should be doing whether I was exploring ordination or not. I am going to do what we all should be doing. I am going to do my best to read, study and pray much, much more than I’ve been doing. I’m going to look after my spiritual health.
Sometimes a little inconvenience can turn out to be a blessing in disguise.