Reflections of a Broken Man

On Direction and Purpose by StephenMac
May 1, 2009, 9:05 pm
Filed under: Reflections

**Currently listening to The Created Void – Underoath**

I have been reading Katay’s posts on “If I ran the diocese I’d…”. It’s been quite an interesting thought exercise, and the most recent one on college has really hit home for one reason or another. I think that in short, I was selfishly looking for answers to my own questions, and seemingly frustrated when others didn’t psychically answer them: go figure…

In short, I’m lacking direction and purpose while at college.

I came to college, adamant that full-time paid ministry wasn’t my thing, that I would remain an academic in some institution somewhere, churning out paper after paper, dealing with questioning students, and hopefully using that platform for furthering the Gospel. Lay ministry held my attraction: preaching from the front without having to deal with any of the pastoral things that tie ministers down.

I can no longer live that fantasy anymore. Coming to college has changed me in a short space of time. The Gospel of Jesus Christ needs to go out, and the workers are few.

My (perceived – possibly imagined) problem is this: my age. I am somewhat younger than most people at college. In my interview, they hinted that if I wanted to pursue SP0003723Lcandidacy, that it might be an issue. And at the time, I was fine with that. But now, bitten by the ministry bug, I don’t think that I can use my age as an excuse anymore, but I don’t know if that’s a barrier to the powers that be.

I see that God has brought me here for a purpose. I see myself (somewhat arrogantly) as perhaps uniquely crafted for a job, being young, being single, being educated, gifted in certain areas. I am a product of my experiences, in which I see God’s hand at every turn. (I am also in need of a decent dose of humility, of which I am sure that God will sort out soon enough too). I make no claim on these things: they are not intrinsically me, nor mine, but gifts of the God who has lovingly crafted me to carry out his purpose and will. (Eph. 2:10 (CSV)For we are His creation—created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.)

But my point is, that I feel that I have been brought here for a purpose, a reason, a reason that was different from my own ideas and purposes, and which I am now blind to. I don’t know where I am going with this. I know that God’s has in under control, I know that he is working out his plan, I know that doors will open and close depending on where God wants me. But from my side of things, I am purposeless, and directionless.

I am used to hiding behind my age, my immaturity, whatever, to “keep my options open”. But while my previous (self-centred) purposes have been shot to pieces, I have nothing to replace it with. And I can no longer hide behind excuses anymore. So where am I?

Maturity, I am told, is being able to commit. My generation is notorious for not being able to do so. I see candidacy at the moment as something that is a commitment, not to something new (I know that I will end up in full time ministry at some point in the future), but it whether I can commit myself to something, to set it in stone, to break with my generation and lock myself in for something long-term.

I finally got an answer: someone psychically knew what I was asking… There are rectors who do graduate at 26, and lead congregations by 31. I now need to commit to something.

And this is direction (the end point) and purpose (the reason for going there).