People blog for many different reasons, for me it's a way of thinking aloud, and allowing ideas to gel and also come under scrutiny from others, in doing so I hope to and have seen and heard the Holy Spirit confirm and critique some of my thinking, through the responses of others. When you work in such an isolated position as mine (many hours of people contact, but little in the way of contact depth) it's been a life line. Without thinking aloud I suspect i would have given up on the whole ministry thing by now.
Part of my thinking aloud over the past year or so has been in regards to pastoral ministry, I have blogged many times on my love and hate for the church, and begin to feel like Augustine; when he said; "the church is a whore, but she is still me mother." My dilemma has been what to do with this? Do I still feel I should return to pastoral ministry after my time in my current role? While I am no clearer, and the whole thinking aloud process has helped me in many ways, few other things have give some clarity too.
Last week during a meeting with my supervisor she was telling me of a dream she had of an old dusty house with many rooms, over time some of the rooms had become opened and cleaned and the beautiful things inside distributed to ordinary everyday people. Her frustration had been that there was one room that had not opened up, and she knew she would have to deal with it in God's time. The house represented her life... During a time of prayer after our meeting I felt God saying to me that locked door was unlocked, but she needed to turn the handle inorder to open it fully. I laughed at this as did she because when we talk of God opening and closing doors, we always picture them as being slightly ajar or completely closed, the thinking being that you only go through the doors that are ajar... She took it as a message to try doors, because just because they appear shut doesn't mean they are locked... When she said that i started thinking about the whole pastoral ministry thing, a door in my life that appears shut, but certainly does not seem to be locked.
God incident too was a conversation I had with a complete stranger, who after finishing the conversation said to me - "you know, you should really be a pastor..."
What I do with these God incidences I am not sure, but I think God may want me to have a little faith, and to be a bit more bolder, trying doors, if they are locked they will remain locked, but they may be unlocked. It reminds me of the Jesus feeding the 5000 incident, someone once said to me that the miracle occurred when each person put out there hand to receive -imagine 5000 little miracles - 5000 steps of faith.
I really love this Pentecost responsive prayer from Steve Collins
The Kingdom of God has many points of entry, but they are not always in the places we expect.
So we need to be alert and ready to enter any time, any place we may be called
We will enter the Kingdom through the door marked"push"
We will not give up if it doesn't open easily.
We will enter the Kingdom through the door marked "changing room."
We will not attempt spiritual exercise in clothes that restrict our movements.
We will enter the kingdom through the door marked "fire escape."
we will not go back into smoke filled rooms to rescue our possessions.
We will enter the kingdom through the door marked "late night opening and all day Sundays"
We will not restrict the time and places of access to God.
We will enter the kingdom through the door marked "silence recording in progress."
We will not miss our part in God's symphony.
We will enter the Kingdom through the door marked "Bar staff only."
We will not ignore people who are thirsty.
We will enter the kingdom through the door marked "honeymoon Suite."
We will not keep any part of ourselves from God's love.
We will enter the Kingdom through the door marked "to the cells."
We will not plea bargain to escape responsibility for our crimes.
We will enter the Kingdom through the door marked "lost property."
We will not get rid of people who have not yet been claimed by God their rightful owner.
We will enter the Kingdom through the door marked "guest list."
We will not have forgotten to have our friends names put on it too.
We will enter the kingdom through the door marked "exit"
We will not continue shopping when God the manager puts the lights out.
We will go through these door in the power of the Spirit, knowing that Jesus has gone through them all first.