who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
and does not change their mind
I read that and it wasn't the lectionary readings I was looking over anymore, in preparation for a Sunday service. No, I was reading about myself.
I can think of so many times during this ministry training (and even enquiry period) where I could have walked away. But I kept at it, because it wasn't the institution which was calling me to ministry, but God. And he never said following him would be easy - an adventure, yes; easy, no.
So I kept to the oath, the promise I made to God - to follow. There have been tough times. Times when I've have to seriously reflect on who, what, where and when. But the lows have been significantly overshadowed by the highs.
Then, this academic year, without a placement I had made a commitment to prepare and lead Sunday worship at Quarry Kirk almost every Sunday. There have been some weeks where I could have walked away, done other things, had time. But I didn't. I'd made a commitment to them and I stick to them. After all, a commitment is only tested when the going gets tough, not when the road is easy.
Of course, my need to do pastoral care under supervision have made Quarry Kirk harder than I expected when I made the commitment. But I've stuck at it. I wonder sometimes if I even could have negotiated doing my required pre-probation work in May and June this year, after all academic work was out of the way. But there was a supervisor who was willing to work with me (and with whom I knew I could work) and I made another commitment.
Has it hurt? Yes. It's been hard and I sometimes wonder what the purpose of this is. I'm sure I'll look back at this time and see it as a blessing.
Stubborn. Yes, I know I am. Daft too, taking this all on. I hope it pays off in the end, though I no longer assume anymore. One things for sure, even when it hurts, this ministry path is the right route for me, even though I am a wee bit of a rebel, in my own little way.