Wednesday, March 14, 2012

It’s A Matter of Trust

Picking up on the question which concluded last week’s post, permit me to briefly share with you a couple of reflections on my experience in responding to God’s call to enter seminary.

There is no magic recipe to determine whether one is, or perhaps is not, responding to God’s call. The desire to enter seminary seems more than an expression of “mere” feeling, however, but far less than a mystical experience (don’t wait for an apparition, in other words). I think it is a combination of the intellect as well as the heart.

I have found that each seminarian brings to the process a set of differing life experiences, personality types; strengths as well as opportunities for growth. This is part of the reason why a seminary community is always interesting and, yet at the same time, a basis for conflicting points of view on individual and collective needs for formation.

I think my own initial desire to enter seminary had a lot to do with trust; that He was moving me in the direction of service as an ordained minister. Believe me; I was pretty satisfied with my life before seminary! I had received and enjoyed the benefits of a good education; an upwardly mobile career; and the friendships and love of so many. Why did God seem to be bothering me with these thoughts of priesthood, I wondered?

I have found that God places people, events and challenges in our lives which enable us (me, too!) to respond to His call to be a seminarian. A wise priest once told me that I would “spend the first half of my time at seminary wondering how I got here---and the second half wondering how everyone else got there.” With only a semester left at seminary, I sometimes find myself bridging both “wonderings.”

I do believe that “getting to seminary” can be far easier than “making it through seminary.” In my next post, I will reflect upon the influences which have seemingly allowed me to persist in responding to God’s call. Until then…


Steven Henriksen

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