There is a tendency, in ministry, when it gets hard, when there are people far more talented or intelligent or whatever than you, when breaking new ground is back breaking work, to get caught up in the negative. I've been teetering on the edge of that with certain aspects of the process lately, the placement process, the candidating, studying process, etc. And I was running the risk of dwelling on the frustration.
Sandy reminded me that it is important to be alert to these thoughts, and to constantly bring my frame of reference back to the positive. So that all the changes and uncertainty that comes with it around college and the processes at the moment do cause frustration - but if I look at it through a positive lens, I see that the changes have offered me the opportunity to start a new Christian community around Story for my field education placement. And that is a unique opportunity, and much better suited to equipping me to follow my call than an ordinary old style congregational placement. And if it gets hard to implement the vision, constantly coming across unknowns, needing to invent processes, etc., a positive lens helps you to see that the invention is an opportunity for creativity. This new community, the Esther Project, is a chance to provide authentic Christian community for people who haven't found it elsewhere, a chance to share the Sacred Story with each other, and discover new, innovative, creative ways to tell the Sacred Story for the Christian and wider community, offering a change to encounter God in the Story anew or for the first time.
This has been important learning for me this week, and will be valuable learning to carry with me through my 30+ years in ordained ministry.