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Friday, July 30, 2010

Take this cup away...

Okay, I confess. Every single day over the past few weeks, I've felt like I don't want to go.

I want to stay here in my comfortable little Norwood home, see my friends, get an idiot-job-type-job and just live a life with my beautiful family. Go to the football. Go to the beach in summer. Watch my girls grow up a little bit more. Hang out with my favorite person--my wife Sue.

Apart from having no work that's worth doing, I have a great life here. Even working part-time since leaving a full-time university job, I've managed to save money and enjoy life. Who said work has to be fulfilling? I can alienate my labor, just like most people do.

But there's this "call" thing that won't go away. That nags at me like a kvetching Jewish mother about how I've never lived up to my potential, especially in terms of making the world a better place. "You have gifts," the voice says. "Oy, meine kind,  why don't use them to inspire and comfort those that are in need of both? What are you wasting your life for? And take out the trash!"

It's really not all that negative all the time, though. I do get to orchestrate services, composing prayers, meditations, benedictions, and 20 minute addresses that can combine rhetoric, narrative, lyricism, humor, epigrams---PLUS I get to deliver them and use my voice and presence. It's a perfect confluence of writing and acting that can move, educate, challenge, and console. It is a wonderfully enriching, creative process. It's hard, but worth doing on many levels.

The cost of doing it, though, is nothing less than all the security, stability, and comfortable familiarity I've build up over the decade or so I've been lucky enough to live the good life in the "lucky" country.

Cost-benefit analysis anyone?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

"With a soul for a compass and a heart for a pair of wings"

--from"Why walk when you can fly" by Mary Chapin Carpenter

At the age of 53, an age at which I should really know better, I have thrown caution and comfort and financial security to the winds, and undertaken to spend the rest of my working life as a Unitarian minister. To make matters more challenging, I'm training at distance from where I live, out of necessity rather than choice.

I'm doing this blog for the benefit of others who may follow in the path to ministry, and for those in my home congregation--the Unitarian Church of South Australia, and it's satellite congregation, the lovely 19th century bushland chapel, Shady Grove, and for my family and any others with an interest in this adventure.

Click to follow this blog to follow the spills, thrills, and chills, the bright lights of inspiration and the dark nights of the soul.