"then wilt thou not be loath to leave this Paradise, but shalt possess a paradise within thee, happier far. Let us descend now therefore from this top of speculation; for the hour precise exacts our parting hence" Paradise Lost, Book XII, lines585-590

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Do you feel ready?

I've been back in Oregon this week to meet with the people who control my fate as a priest. I am happy (very happy) to report that I have been approved. Of course, now begins the hard work of finding an opportunity to practice that ministry, though I actually feel pretty hopeful about that. But what's really on my mind is the question of readiness? Do I feel ready to take this on? Have I been adequately prepared?

I've worked at my studies, I know I've learned stuff. I've been involved in the parish, at school and at the hospital practicing and reflecting on the practice of vocational ministry. I know my perspective on the world and the church has shifted, my understanding of God is deeper. I even know how to fix a furnace and write a budget. I feel well prepared. However, I have no doubts I will flounder and make mistakes at the first church I serve as an ordained person.

Being here reminds of where I was ten years ago preparing for baptism. Was I ready? Was I a fully formed Christian? Of course I wasn't. My "faith" largely existed in my head as a philosophical proposition, my perspective was still focused on what God did for me and I felt I could take an a la carte approach, doing only what was good for me. I haven't fully and completely left that behind (I'm still a regular human, it turns out) but on the night I lowered my head over the font and the water flowed down my face I was willing and ready to make the commitment to being faithful even though there was still a long way to go.

Now, as I stand on the threshold of a new sacrament, ordination, I think I feel the same way. I am as prepared as I can be to make the commitment to living into the promises I will make in prayer that they may guide me and form me into whomever it is I am called to be. I hope I am a good priest, or at least not a bad one, but I promise I will try to be open to the movement of the Spirit that drew me in so long ago and that beckons me forward still.


  1. Are you ready to serve? That's what's most important. When Christ picked the 12, there wasn't a question asked. He simply said Follow me.
    As stewards and shepherds one isn't asked to be perfect or without error. Servants are asked to serve and lead in spirit and in truth, pointing the way to Christ for those lost in sins.
    My prayer is that God may richly bless your ministry.

  2. When you step out in faith, you never know how many you are leading.