I find myself wanting to set a few things straight. To put some stakes in the ground to mark where I stand and what I stand for while I still have the objectivity that a bit of separation from everyday life brings. Something to look back on as I continue on this journey. Some signposts for the way. So here they are, some rough and early musings that have come up as I've 'gotten back to me'.
Right? Yeah right.
I've been known to get it 'wrong'. Say things in the the wrong order, say the wrong things altogether. Light the wrong candles, narrowly avoid setting fire to the giant flappy sleeved robe I'm asked to wear (I mean, what genius came up with that eh?). But stake one is this – there is no right way (except maybe the setting fire to yourself bit, I'm pretty sure that isn't right...). The right way is an action done with love, compassion, intelligence and integrity. Nothing else really matters.
The future is God-made not Church-made
Ordination is not a one way street to stress, a job you complain constantly about and never seeing your family again. That lifestyle is chosen, no matter what anyone tells me. I've never taken the conventional route. I've never been a slave to other people's expectations or what I 'ought to do'. I'm on an adventure with God, that is what the life of faith is to me. There are many roles and many ways of being in them and there is one for me, as me.
Brighter, bolder. More, more, more!
Quoting my old pal St Iranaeus: 'The glory of God is a human fully alive'. There is a feeling in what I've been taught in the last few weeks of diminishing yourself. There is a call to always blend in despite the major movements in the church being lead by those who did anything but. I was told this term that if I wanted to 'advance' in the church then I ought to wear black, to fit in with the 'boys' as it were.
But the thing is God made me colourful. And if I see ministry at its depth as a calling out to people to be fully alive, fully themselves in all their glorious technicolour, then how can I model that in black when I'd be wearing it to hide or advance? I must be colourful too. And luckily for me I'm not really bothered about advancing I'm bothered about being who God made me to be. Teen drama watching, Christmas obsessed, glittery nail varnish wearing me.
'It's not enough!'
There is a character in Gossip Girl called Cyrus Rose who when he hugs people holds on for the bit too long and when they try and pull away says 'Not enough!' My husband jokes that I am a spiritual Cyrus Rose. I have always had a deep hunger for the extraordinary. Having space from college has helped me to see what is extraordinary and what is just plain run of the mill. When I pray stuff happens. When I go to church I expect God to be there. When I say words I mean them. I've seen extraordinary stuff this term and that's what I want more of. Because anything else, well, it's 'not enough'!
So there we are. A few stakes in the ground. A wee manifesto for next term. And now I'm off to paint my nails and watch the Vampire Diaries. I am nothing if not consistent!!