And sometimes, the waiting is the worst part.
But ’tis the season for waiting, I guess.
Some of us can’t wait until we can open the Christmas presents that has been taunting and teasing us under the Christmas tree. What’s in it? Did I get what I asked for? The anticipation is killing me!
For those of us who profess Christ as our Lord, we wait for the eight pound, six ounce new born baby Jesus who comes into the world as the light of the world, offering us hope as love comes down from heaven to earth.
I’m more concerned with the latter than the former. I don’t have anything I truly desire (and need/have the use for) this Christmas season. Our church was challenged to give 25% of what they spend on Christmas to our Miracle Offering that will be taken in all our Christmas Eve worship celebrations. 100% of the money given will be given to Nicaragua, our local winter shelter and Family Promise.
But in the back of my mind, as much as I don’t want it to, the thoughts of my ordination paper lingers.
Yesterday, I sent off my papers to the Registrar for Full Connection. He sent me an email today confirming that he received it and that I should hear from him around January 10.
Last year, my papers failed. I wasn’t as upset as I thought I would be.
This year, I put more effort and thought into the papers. Failure will be a major disappointment. “Positive thoughts,” I keep telling myself. Actually. “Don’t think about it” is what I’ve been saying. Of course, not thinking about it is difficult.
Waiting is not fun. If I fail, at least I know what to deal with. If I pass, I know what to prepare for. But this unknown…
Which led me to ask all throughout last month, “Why do I want this?” I know I’m called. There’s no doubt about it. But why jump through all these hoops, frustrating myself and being frustrated with the system during the process?
This question may even be asked during the interview process (if I get that far).
I don’t have a clear answer.
But after much thought, I know what the reasons aren’t.
I’m not going through this for the sake of the title “reverend” and a piece of paper (do we get a certificate?) that states that I have been ordained.
I’m not going through with this for a higher minimum salary.
I’m not going through this ordeal to prove something. I have nothing to prove.
I’m not going through all this to appease my pastor dad or my family.
I’m not going through this for the approval of anyone.
I’m not going through this because I’ve come so far, and it’s too late to turn back.
As I struggle with the need/idea/notion of a professional clergy, I have some vague answers in my heart of why I am going through all this.
To learn. To learn all that I can from the ones that have gone before me and the ones who think differently than me.
I’m going through all these hoops, because it feels like the natural flow of where God is leading me. So many times, I’ve gone against the flow of God, making things difficult on me. This just seems part of the journey God has me on.
I’m in this process, not because I think I can make a difference for the UMC, but because this process has humbled me and shaped me so that I can be in better tune with God, and be in better shape to serve God.
January 10 is about 5-6 weeks away.
There will be things that will keep me distracted so that I don’t dwell on what I could’ve said or shouldn’t have said on my papers.
In the mean time, there’s no point of missing out on the this great season of Advent!
Tomorrow will come with its own troubles and worries. No need to be consumed by what the readers/graders will say about my papers. By doing so, I’ll miss out on so many blessings that surround my life at this point. And as I finish this up, U2 is blaring in my ears singing “It’s a beautiful day.” And it really is.
So here I am. Officially waiting. But officially not thinking about it anymore. (Well… at least, not trying to…)