Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Three days

In three days, my life changes forever: I will be ordained as a permanent deacon in the Diocese of Boise. Last night I woke up around 3:00 AM (which is not unusual), but where I usually dwell on some issue concerning work, this time I was wondering about whether I would be ready for this ministry.

Am I going to blow it on the altar? Yes, many times over.

Am I going to tick some people off with my homilies? Undoubtedly.

Am I going to let some people down? Almost certainly.

I think the only time I don't have doubts about whether I am meant to be in active ordained ministry is when I am assisting at the altar, at RCIA, or otherwise doing ministry. I think people will be more free with their critiques about my performance, though.

If I had gone down this route earlier in life, I don't know that I would be ready. In my early professional and academic life, I was a bit more thin skinned, a bit more in need of approval from peers and students. While I still like to have agood rapport with peers and the people I instruct, I've gotten much better at not personalizing their responses to me. But occasionally, I still hear the nagging, whiny little voice and still feel like that simpering grade schooler. But I've also learned how to put that side of me in its place, if for no other reason than that it gets in the way of getting something done. In the business world, that has paid off. We will see how it serves me in ministry.

But there are real fears as well: that I won't have the stamina, that I will fail God, that my relationships will suffer, that my other dreams will not be fulfilled. I've rarely taken on anything at which I've failed, and this could be a blazing catastrophe waiting to happen. Or it could be the most grace-filled adventure.

In three days, my life changes forever.
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