Longing

Copious amounts of reading and writing for school leave me little time to write for pleasure, though I have so much I want to get down here. Most importantly, my discernment meeting helped me to ask myself the question, what is a priest? What do you expect of one?

Of course, I think I’ve spent the last 2 years thinking about what other people would expect and also applying my crazily high expectations of priests onto that role myself and asking myself…huh? what? Me?

But it’s strange. All that worry and fear went away the very moment I surrendered completely to the insistent pushing from God. I say pushing, but the instant you surrender it isn’t pushing any more, it’s pulling, a wonderful, warm, embracing drawing you closer to where you were made to be.  Caught up in the “fishing net of God”, waiting to be drawn up into his boat. Then you scratch your head and wonder what the heck you were struggling so hard for. Once, while in prayer and while still questioning the whole idea, I got the clearest little montage of a horse in a burning barn in panic, and a calm figure soothing the horse, covering it’s eyes, and leading it out. How much that seems to apply. For we walk by faith and not by sight…

Somehow I feel sure that God wouldn’t lead me somewhere I shouldn’t go, as long as I follow him and not any selfish desire of my own heart. If I do that, I shouldn’t need to fear being up to the task, because he will make me up to it, educate me, form me, shape me to his desire and task.

One other thing, I am reading the Hindu mystical holy writing, The Bhagavad Gita and reading it gives me the same sensation as the first long pull off of a cold bottle of water after a hike on a hot day. It sinks into me as if I were drought stricken crop lands and it was the rain…

It’s beautiful and I am grateful beyond words for the class that features it and look forward to every other tiny piece of theology that comes my way. Nothing interests me more than exploring the nature of God and the paths to him.

TBD

At the sermon I heard last weekend, the guest preacher said something that seemed very relevant to me. He said that it’s easier to look back and see what you’ve lost, then to look forward and see what is possible. I’ve really felt that lately. Maybe because classes will end for the summer and my internship doesn’t start until June. I’ve found myself daydreaming about the way I used to live and working in the interactive space again. I think about toys I would like to have, shopping I wish to do and living in a cosmopolitan city. It’s really hard to see my way forward right now. I wonder if I am truly meant to be a priest. I know that doubt is an integral part of faith. I remind myself that it can’t be a coincidence that the things I miss are all things of the “body”. By that I mean accumulating them will provide little in the way of spiritual sustenance while at the same time encouraging self indulgence.
I think that it’s highly improbable for anyone to join me and share my life as I work towards the priesthood. I am sure some men wouldn’t have an issue with it, but I can’t imagine who or what he would be like.
Am I dooming myself in a way by following this call? Or should I simply trust that God will provide, even in that way, if I am patient and faithful. If I pause long enough to consider it, I know that is the only thing I can do. In absolute honesty, I can’t stand the idea of not keeping my promise to God, and I simply won’t abandon the life I am being guided towards. It may mean that I won’t have many of the things I have come to appreciate. It may mean that I do end up alone and without the possibility of more children. I have to run that thought through my head and heart and get used to it.
I only have 2 tests and one paper left to be finished. I’d like to see a movie tomorrow night. Maybe go for a hike on Saturday. Try to control my ice cream addiction, just thinking that Pop’s has GREAT ice cream. 🙂
I’ll also be looking for a part-time summer job soon too.
Tonight I listen to the rain, the thunder and watch the lightening shadow across my walls. It makes me feel safe and warm in my snug little bed.
My little dog is pressed up against me, he’s afraid of the storm. Sweet little thing.
Boston plays tonight and so do the Detroit Red Wings. I hope they both win.
I’ll be watching The Office, 30 Rock and Grey’s Anatomy.
TV junkiedom is so awesome.
🙂

Sunday morning restlessness

I had a restless night with strange vivid dreams that were troubling and intense. They woke me several times and I would find my heart racing, my vision not quite right.
It was like I was asleep and awake at the same time, since I was in a kind of completely aware state while I was asleep and there was so much happening.

I feel groggy and unrefreshed as if I stayed awake all night. Today was the Bishop’s visit and we had many confirmations, Baptisms and special parts of the service. Afterwards we had a reception. I did not teach Sunday School today, as Father Joe, from the Binaba, Ghana mission was here and he wanted to do a special program with all the children. Instead I attended an adult session with the Bishop where we heard his thoughts on the recent events in the Episcopal church. I enjoyed his description of some of his experiences at some of the “listening and learning sessions” that he had attended between American Bishops and African Bishops. He told of a Sudanese Bishop who was impoverished and was still trying to get his parishoners to come to terms with allowing women an equal place in the church, much less have women ordained. He talked of the abject poverty and how our priorities are so different, and that the luxury of worrying over this issue of whether gays can be ordained is only afforded to the highest in the countries of Africa. I pray sincerely that the people who are so anxious for resolution open their hearts and minds and realize that understanding will only come with time and dialogue between both cultures. The people who in the American church who can’t deal with it should just leave and become Baptists or something. The whole deal with the Episcopal church is about the “via media” or the middle way. If you can’t subscribe to that philosophy and you want to be one or the other, then go somewhere that has that kind of dichotomy.

I was thinking of a small irony as we were reading the journal of the author who left the Anglican church for the Catholic church and who is now thought to have been gay. If he were born in today’s America, he could have been a gay Episcopal priest. It wasn’t the priests that caused the problem anyway, it was the Bishop that did it.

I am feeling such a strong pull towards Africa and doing work there. There are many indicators that my work will somehow have something to do with that. I have the possibility of going to Ghana at the end of July and I hope to find sponsors to help me raise the additional $3000 I will need to go. The church will sponsor me for $1000 and the trip is $4000 total.

I need to think of who might be willing to sponsor me.