The road to ministry has been a long one, for me. It was back in 2008 I (finally) attended an enquirers' conference (now known as a vocations' conference). But my call to ministry, or the seeds of that call, were first sown when I was in my early teens. So, if I start the journey there, it is over 25 years - well, you don't want to rush these things, do you???
When I was getting to that stage in life (17 years old), when I was trying to figure out what I should be doing with my life, the call began to be a plant, rather than just seeds. I prayed; I thought long and hard about it. Looking back, I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I had accepted my call then, but I also look at the things (good and bad) I have experienced and see how much I have already been able to use in my ministry.
Being someone who had a strong church connection, and a school friend whose Dad was a minister, I decided to confide in my friend and their Dad. Their reaction - my friend laughed and her Dad told me "People like you don't become ministers." Being somewhat naive and respecting that man's opinion (at that time), I realised I was wrong about my calling.
Now, you may be wondering why that minister said what he did. I didn't challenge it back then, but I suspect it was because I was brought up by a single parent; wasn't "righteous"; I came from one of the less attractive areas of my home town; hadn't become a member of the church by that stage (that come when I was 21, when I was right for me, rather than the 'natural progression at 15/16 from Sunday School.); am a bit of an introvert, and basically am not your 'normal' ministry fodder. Okay, this is all speculation, but it did mean I ignored and fought my call more than I may otherwise have, all due to one person's comment.
But here I am. With 2 degrees (still wondering how that happened), more than 5 months through probation in my journey to become a minister. Actually, no, I am a minister. I may not be an ordained minister, but I am a minister. I believe it, Airside Kirk congregation relate to me as their assistant minister and God calls me as a minister.
So, perhaps people like me don't (usually or normally) become ministers, but God doesn't look at what's normal or usual. He often calls the unlikely and the outsider. And I, in many ways, am one. But he still calls. And I am glad I now am a minister, even if it took me a while and I am not the most likely candidate.
It looks like my school friend's Dad was wrong. I am the sort of person who becomes a minister.