Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart,
and try to love the questions themselves
as if they were locked rooms
or books written in a very foreign language.
Do not search for the answers, which could not be given to you now,
because you would not be able to live them.
And the point is to live everything.
Live the questions now.
Perhaps then, someday far in the future,
you will gradually,
without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.
I had found as much peace with being rejected for ordination training as was possible. Questions remained over what had happened before, during and after my rejection but the answers remained stubbornly on the horizon. They hung in front of me like an elusive carrot on a stick and for all my efforts to reach them they remained out of reach.
Was the Bishop’s Advisory Panel (BAP) and the preceding period a stand alone lesson to teach and transform me into the person God wanted me to be for the next stage of our journey together? Or was it part a series of lessons, and if it was what was the next one? Was it to attend a second BAP ? Did I even want to go to another? Was it to be ordained? Do I even want to go to a second BAP ? Linked yet separate questions with fathomable way of being answered.
Knock-backs and rejections had robbed me of confidence in myself and my abilities. My doubts and confusion clouded my judgement so it was no wonder that trying to discern what God was trying to teach me in this period did not bring the clarity I needed.
Pursuing answers had become fruitless. To find the answers I had to stop searching for them. Continue reading
“My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?” John 14:2
I’m worn out. I haven’t even got to the Bishops’ Advisory and I’m worn out.
I knew this was coming. It wasn’t a word from God, a message from the Holy Spirit. It was far more mundane than that. It was a mixture of circumstances and the compression of 6 months BAP preparation into 6 weeks.
After putting our house in market last week, in an equal act of faith and practicality, we had been overwhelmed by the response. We had put our house on the market previously and had 1 offer in 10 months. This time, admittedly with a different set of economic conditions, we had 4 offers in 4 days. The house was sold, subject to contract, in under a week.
Now if God isn’t part of our house sale I will eat my hat, and believe me when I say that I don’t like eating hats. Continue reading
Hello Advisers, I’m a father before I’m a priest (the cake I made for my daughter – see why below).
The clock is ticking but the time is being used unexpectedly, to an extent.
Last week was supposed to be much like the previous week, but quieter. The only thing I had in my diary was another meeting to help me articulate my understanding of the things I might be asked about at my forthcoming Bishops’ Advisory Panel.
It proved to be anything but quiet.
We had planned to put our house on the market this year irrespective of whether we were still looking into ordination or not. Our family and lifestyle has changed a lot since buying our current, and first, home. Continue reading
Pilgrim’s Progress: my transformation by God through exploring ordination is becoming evident.
This week it came to me that my exploration of ordination has moved onto another stage.
Things are coming into focus, and not just for me.
The signs had been there when I met with the DDO a few weeks ago, but it was only during this past week that I picked up on the signals. 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
Something has to give when there’s too much to do and not enough time to do it.
A year ago life was family, work and getting used to the school run. That seemed pretty full-on then, now that feels leisurely!
It feels like every so often God has raised the bar and then given me the capacity to reach it. Suddenly though my diary commitments seem to have gone exponential.
I’m reading at every opportunity: baptism, prayer, leadership and a book you may have heard about called the Bible. I have so many thoughts weaving in and out of my consciousness. Continue reading
If there’s one certain thing about life it’s that life is uncertain.
It’s been a week of contemplating what trusting God means by putting that trust into action.
Prior to going on the Men’s Ministry Weekend at Lee Abbey the previous weekend (see State of Love and Trust) I had applied for a church-based job. From the advert the job looked to be a perfect fit to my skills and experience but would make getting my children to school and nursery a logistical nightmare. Having seen the advert late I didn’t have time to think about much; I had to apply for it and trust that God would bring about the right result.
The day before the weekend at Lee Abbey I got a call at work. I had an interview. 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
Celebrations at Wells Cathedral as priests and deacons are ordained.
This week I finally cracked. It has been a month of waiting, a month of silence.
After meeting with a Vocations Chaplain my details were passed on to the Diocesan Director of Ordinands (DDO). It would be their job to delve even deeper to discern whether God is indeed calling me towards ordination. But since my meeting a month ago I haven’t heard anything, which was fine, to a point! Continue reading