“Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was Oh no, not again. Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the Universe than we do now.”, Douglas Adams
There I was: sitting down, contemplating the future. Six months in which to prepare for a Bishops’ Advisory Panel lay before me. Plenty of time to sit back, read a bit, debate a bit and contemplate all that God has to offer. No rush, no pressure.
In the midst of this peacefulness my computer and phone sang out in unison. I had mail.
It was the DDO. She had a surprise. I was being invited to attend a BAP in mid-May.
I didn’t expect that.
The tranquility shattered and, not for the first time on this journey, everything that I had envisioned doing fell apart.
As someone exploring the possibility of becoming ordained I am engaging with issues like I have never done before. I am forcing myself to seek to understand things that I could get away with avoiding until now. At times such as they are, with some of the issues that are hotly being debated, it is rather attractive though to stay sitting on the fence.
My exploration of ordination feels like it has entered a new phase.
The first was private and tentative, like a child unsure if the venture is safe. I spoke informally with my vicar, I spoke with friends ordained and not. I had questions, I had doubts: what did I possibly have to offer of worth to the church? Whilst I couldn’t see it myself I knew that God would have good reason in asking me to take a look at it. Continue reading
Sometimes God doesn’t want your prayers for other people, sometimes He just wants to minister to you.
A Pastor once described the church and the life of a Christian to me as a ship made up of three parts. The bow is a battleship where those on the spiritual front line find themselves; it’s the most vulnerable part of the ship. The stern is a hospital ship, where those damaged on the front line go to recover. Finally there is the cruise ship that makes up the midship. Continue reading
Red Dalek, Yellow, Dalek: Articulate, Articulate, Articulate!
The Bible is peppered with suggestions that strength is found in weakness. On the face it sounds counter-intuitive but realign how you consider such a phrase and the truth is unveiled. The trouble is that identifying and addressing weaknesses so that they can become strengths can be a painful experience. Continue reading
God is in the business of making the impossible possible.
It was just as well I had scheduled in some time to reflect at the end of my Grand Tour of theological colleges. 48 hours after returning home I was knocking on the door of a vicarage to start my second meeting with an Examining Chaplain.
Significance in numbers?
Exploring ordination means preparing for a future life that may never happen. There are no guarantees, no certainties. Getting to a Bishops’ Advisory Panel is not a given, nor is a recommendation that I train for ordination. Yet I have to prepare for the possibility that I will be recommended. It means investing significant amounts of time, thought and prayer for something that may not happen. Continue reading
I walked right into an Agatha Christie novel.
I started work on Monday with the security of a ‘permanent’ contract (there is no such thing as a truly permanent contract of course). There were important deadlines to meet but they all seemed achievable. For the first time in a while work was not going to be causing me any stress. It was just as well for it came thick and fast from the ordination path. Continue reading
Things can be too good, simple and easy to be true, but are they always so?
Are somethings too good to be true? When things appear to come so simply and easy, do you question them like I do?
Right now I can sense God rolling His eyes again.
In a break from redrafting my BAP form I had my first visit to a theological colleges and the first experience on this journey where the whole family were involved. I knew that as I drove towards the college that it was going to be was the easiest and the hardest college to visit. It was my local one. Continue reading
“Life is a roller coaster, just gotta ride it”, The wisdom of Ronan Keating
After an intense period of writing over Christmas (see my last three posts at the bottom of this post) I had a momentary break from thinking and writing. It had been a fruitful period and God had helped me make some great progress in finding out who I was and might become. Continue reading