Two more days until the tenth anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood in The Episcopal Church.
I mean, yeh, the inauguration of Barak Obama as President of the United States is pretty important, even cool. But it's on such a huge scale of importance that it probably won't make a difference in my everyday life, except I'll be able to listen to the voice of my president again, which I haven't been able to do for eight years now. (Apologies to my parishioners who support President George W. Bush.)
On the other hand, my ordination to the priesthood is something that happened to me, in the midst of the life I live, with people I know around me, not on some huge international scale.
So you'll forgive me, gentle readers, if I focus on me for a change. Ten years of ordained ministry, much of which has been very satisfying, and I still wonder sometimes if I'm really cut out for this.
You see, dear readers, I am about to confess to you that what I truly am, and want to be and do, as a priest, is mostly not at all what the people I have served want me to be and do. Never has been. Never is going to be. I've tried to tell them that when I'm interviewed, but then they call me and I come to work with them and I find the people don't remember what I told them about myself and are surprised when I don't do what they expect of me.
So, as a wise priest elsewhere in the nation asked me recently, do I have the energy to continue on the course I set years ago, even before my ordination, to follow a vision of the people of God that drew me into the priesthood in the first place? That is the question I've been asking myself for a few months now.
Perhaps I am unwise in writing this in a public forum. On the other hand, if the movie Doubt has taught us anything, it is that even the most self-assured religious have questions and doubts and it's important that people know we're no different from everyone else or we together will never be able to become the dream of God as Verna Dozier wrote of humankind in her book of the same name.
I would like to share the vision of which I speak above, but I've never been able to write or speak about it to my satisfaction. I've been working on that, and I hope to have something more for you tomorrow.
Meanwhile, light a candle of thanksgiving for me, and pray for me, a fellow sinner.