Listening to the silence
Growing up as the youngest of three, opportunities to talk were few and far between. Each one had to be seized upon in case it would be a year before another would come again. Silence was my chance to speak.
Whatever the truth of my memory, the impact was that silence became an entity that I needed to fill; if I didn’t, and it continued, I would become increasingly uncomfortable. And so I filled them. I would jump into the silence with whatever opinion, facts or half-baked humour I could muster. It wasn’t always the best idea.
Filling the silence risks not hearing the very thing that needs to be heard. Increasingly I’ve realised that isn’t me.
It’s complicated. It’s not you, it’s me.
Discerning whether God is wanting you to be ordained is not a simple process. At times it feels like a tightrope, a roller-coaster or a double-edged sword. On one side it is very much about you as you try to work out what God is wanting you to do and whether you want to do it too. On the other side it is about who God is wanting you to work with and whether others want you to do that too.
It is about you and it isn’t.
Whatever your view on marriage, whether you hold to the traditional man and woman model or a gender-blind union, the case of Ashers Backing Company vs Gareth Lee mirrors troubling characteristics of our society: a misunderstanding of tolerance and a gladiatorial approach to deciding what’s acceptable. Continue reading
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.
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
Purple haze all in my brain,
Lately things just don’t seem the same,
Actin’ funny, but I don’t know why,
Excuse me while I kiss the sky.
It was time for the Bishop to make his move. Was it going to be checkmate and game over? I didn’t know. I did know that whatever happened following as a result of meeting my local Bishop was going to be significant. Continue reading
There are books which are interesting, some are even thought provoking. And then there are books which don’t just illuminate a subject or unlock a treasure trove, but demystify something to such an extent they have the potential to utterly transform your life, if you let them. Gerard Hughes’s book God of Surprises is one of those books. Continue reading
We need to be watchful for any hazards on the path ahead.
The path of exploring ordination is a strange affair. On one hand you are very much on your own, the searching is down to you. On the other hand it can be a community affair. People join the journey for a while, sometimes only for the briefest of moments, others walk with you for a long time. Yet whilst they walk with you, the decision whether to turn right or left is down to you. Continue reading
English: Buses of in , Edinburgh, alongside Princes Mall (right), as viewed from . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Buses. You wait ages for 1, then 3 turn up all at once.
This past week has seen a trilogy of events occur in quick succession.
It started with a meeting with a potential Spiritual Director. My Vocations Chaplain had recommended that I sought one out. They are people with whom you can explore matters of faith; people to help you wrestle with trying to understand what God is trying to say to you or in reconciling a world view with a Biblical view of life. Continue reading
Are you willing to give up the summit and turn back if the conditions aren’t right?
I’ve been thinking a lot about Mary and Martha recently (Luke 10:38-42). Martha was too focused on preparing for a meal with Jesus that she was missing out on enjoying spending time with Him. As I await a call from the DDO I am aware that I too have become somewhat too focused on the ordination process and have been failing to simply spend time listening to God. Continue reading