I completed my first semester of seminary courses required for deacon candidacy two months ago. The second semester began today with a course on the history of Methodism. It’ll go until early May. Then summer semester will begin. I can only manage one course at the time due to all the reading required. The duties of my two jobs prohibit me biting off more than that.
There are moments when I think, “What am I doing this for?” Then I think, “Not what, but whom…..for Christ.” I do feel that I am called to, and indeed, am in ministry already. This additional work is equipping me for……what? I already feel that I am doing what God has prepared me for. I’m not sure that these extra 24 hours of theological studies are going to result in any more tangible benefits. More knowledge, yes. More credibility, maybe. Once ordained I will be legally able to counsel under pastoral authority and license. And I believe that is what is driving me….having the legal authority and not only the calling. Although I don’t need that in my present job. Will it give me mobility? Do I need mobility? I don’t seem to at this time. But still, I go on. It still seems the right thing to do.
I’ve recently been interviewed by a Methodist conference psychologist as part of the candidacy process. We have another consult in two weeks. It’s unlikely that anything he says is going to to derail my candidacy. It’s also unlikely that he’s going to tell me anything that I don’t already know about myself. It’s simply another of the boxes that must be checked to accomplish my goal.
One step at the time. One course per semester. One day upon another. It is nice to be content where I am and not needing to accomplish these things in order to hurry toward something else, but simply for the joy of doing them and knowing that, since God has called me to it, He’ll see me through it and, in the end, I know that He wastes nothing. It all has a purpose.