Pilgrim noun. Definition: a person who makes a journey, often a long and difficult one, to a special place for religious reasons*.
Explorer noun. Definition: someone who travels to places where no one has ever been in order to find out what is there*.
Exploring ‘the call’
The Pilgrim Explorer is a journey of discovery. It is a journey that people have been on for millennia, that of seeking to find the purpose that God has for our lives. I am convinced that we all have a calling to specific tasks and that God tailors each one to us as individuals.
The journey of exploring our calling is in essence a calling in itself, maybe even the calling. It can affect our relationship with God, transform us in some way and open up possibilities that we would never have imagined had we not begun searching. Unpicking what, in a ‘sense of calling’, is from our own desires and what is actually from God is also fascinating. Are we doing something because it is what we want or what God wants?
My particular calling
When began this blog I was simply being called to explore ordination in the Church of England. The years that followed saw many twists and turns, and although I have been recommended to start training it wasn’t always so: the pain of having not being recommended (a rejection in all but words) remains on display within this blog in the hope that it will prepare and encourage others to avoid my mistakes and seek support where it is needed.
I posted each week during my exploration of ordination, documenting my thoughts and experiences as they happened. What you read is where I was at the time I wrote it but, as I have found, God doesn’t leave us in one place for long but continually transforms us if we let Him. In each post I have done my best to be honest and show both the highs and lows, the struggles and challenges. My timeline of exploring ordination sets out the posts in chronological and stage order so if you’re new to the blog, or are considering ordination yourself, that is a good place to start; the timeline also helps to see the overall context and bigger picture, not least in how I came to be thankful for the first set of advisors not recommending me for ordination training.
Each post is written ‘in the moment’ and not post-edited after the giddiness or pain of the situation has subsided, or indeed the naivety exposed; as such in isolation posts may show only one emotion or a snapshot of one thought being wrestled with, but together they show the evolution and result of contemplation – my guts, His glory.
Exploring whether I should train for ordination has come to an end and a new chapter of my life, a new journey, is beginning: I am heading to a theological college to juggle 3 years of ordination training with family life and a full-time job. However, the ultimate purpose or destination of my exploration is tantalisingly unclear: God does not tend to reveal the destination but guides us one step at a time. I hope you will enjoy this next stage of the journey.
If you are exploring and seeking to discern what plan God has for you please know that I’m especially praying for you. Many have travelled this road before us and have experienced similar highs and lows. Just as they were called to work with God in sharing the good news so are you and I. And just as God often guided them to do things they did not foresee in ways they did not always envisage so will He with us.
A journey is much better travelled together so please do contact me using the form below or by commenting on a post. If you would rather not have your comment published on the blog please let me know, I will still be able to read it but others will not. And if you would like to share your experiences of exploring God’s call on your life I would be honoured to share them with others as a guest post on this blog.
Finally, if you have enjoyed the blog and found it helpful please let others know about it.
Thank you and God bless you,
*I blogged anonymously during my exploration of ordination but decided that I should identify myself as I train for a public ministry, the reason for anonymity and the reason for naming myself is given in Leaving the Shadows.
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* Definitions from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press.