With the new year, I am switching over to an audio podcast format. It’s one I am most comfortable with, and hope to be able to sustain through this journey of discernment.
I hope to live blog my journey of discernment here. If nothing else, it will keep me accountable to myself in tracking where I feel I’m being called.
The basics: I am a 50 year old married father of 4. I’ve been married over 26 years and my wife and I have incredible daughters who show so much care and empathy for those they interact with. All a testament to the many blessings I have received in my life.
Enter a forced change – a layoff after 15 years at my current employer. As I started to work through the initial reactions to it all, I started to seek answers to not just what to do next, but what God wants me to do next. I’ve felt a slight tug toward ministry for many years. Now it feels more like a linebacker hitting me than a slight tug of the sleeve. Every devotional I read, every sermon I hear, every quote I see pop up ties back to the themes of change, letting God work through me and understanding that my gifts are in relationships, not in transactional work.
Then we throw in the reality of the UCC where I live. I’m in New England, a relative hot bed for the denomination and keeper of many long standing traditions. My state is often referred to as “the land of steady habits”. So it’s pretty unlikely that someone without a BA (let alone an M. Div.) would be openly supported in working an alternative path toward answering what is a strong call. Right now, I’m not letting that stop my focus on discernment. It could very well be that the message of change I am hearing is for me to help become the change that inspires a new direction in our area.
I have a lot to process and a lot to work through. But I am committed to doing that, because life is a journey of discernment that never ends.