Friday, October 28, 2005

I don't know what the deal is.

Today, I sit here wondering about my future. I don't really know why, but I'm feeling kind of stressed about it. Way back when I first started discerning my call to ministry, I felt kind of intimidated about all the things I'd have to learn, all the things I'd have to endure, and all the things I'd have to discover about myself in order to get to ministry. But, as time has progressed and I've gotten the opportunity to utilize some of my gifts and think about what the future holds, I've become less intimidated. However, after reading another blog, I have begun to feel intimidated again. I don't know why, and that is frustrating to me. Mark's Blog (the one I've been reading) says a lot of great things for him. The faculty has said great things about him and everything. But I guess I'm just afraid that in the future, if I ever get to seminary, they might not say great things about me. What if I'm just mediocre? What if I've been bad at this whole discernment process thus far? What if I'm going in a direction that God does NOT want me to go? That is what I fear the most, I suppose: Going in a direction God would rather I not go. It just seems that lately, I have not been a "good enough" person to be pursuing this vocation. I know that pastors are not perfect, but they're supposed to be examples of godly living to the community with patience, humility, gentleness, and a plethora of other spiritual gifts. For the most part, I'm pretty patient and all that good stuff, but I still struggle with one relationship in my life. That relationship makes me feel like an awful person because I just have come to the end of my rope. I don't know what to do about my future. I only know that I must trust God to lead me where He wants me to go, believing in His power and ability to sustain me through wherever this road I am on takes me. Please forgive my venting. I feel better now. Peace.


mark said...

Hey there! Thanks for reading my blog. So, as far as discernment goes, it is not an easy thing. I think the fact that you are having doubts is a good thing. Those people who come into seminary and say things like, "I know without a shadow of a doubt that this is where I'm supposed to be, and that I am called to be a pastor, and I have all the gifts I need thankyouverymuch!" are the ones that have the most problems in the process. The ones, like you, that are aware that they have room to grow but are willing to work on those rough edges are the ones that have the most success.
If, after time spent in prayer and conversation with others, you still feel called to enter seminary and the candidacy process, then I say GO FOR IT! So what if you don't think you're the "perfect person" for the job. There are plenty of Biblical examples of God working through some of the worst. And there is always that quote that "God doesn't call the equipped, God equips the called." If seminary is where you are supposed to be, then God will be here with you, warts and all!!
Blessings on your journey!

Richard said...

Discernment is hard work. And it's really hard at times to know whether the path I'm moving on is the one I am called to by God or the one that I'm called to by my own desires and ego. I do know, as Mark said, that doubt and feelings of not being worthy for a religious vocation are part of the package - and in prayer, they can lead us through God's grace to a deeper understanding of how we are called. Jesus asked those who were without sin to throw the first stone; if, however, he had asked those who were worthy of and had no doubt to enter seminary, I think the pulpits would be pretty empty (well, except for televangelists). God be with you as you continue your discernment. Peace!