Thursday, August 18, 2011

Being a Public Future Pastor

This post is about my current educational goals, my feelings about how people react to those goals, my analysis of these reactions, and how I plan to react.
My current educational goals are to complete my BA in theology in order to move on to seminary. I have made this choice based on the results of prayer and the fact that I feel most in touch with God when I am talking about his word. One of the challenges I have run into are the conflicted feelings I experience about being public about this choice. I have found that telling people what my goals are causes them to look upon me differently and this can be hard to deal with.
When I am at the college and exchanging ideas about educational choices, very often someone will ask me what my major is. When I tell them it is in theology they ask me what I plan to do with that major, when I tell them, things get interesting as I immediately notice them change their behavior, they might even avert eye contact. Sometimes they might get a little hostile as they feel this is an appropriate time to tell me exactly how they feel about the church. Emotionally it can be hard to deal with because I have always been sensitive about what others think.
I believe that reactions like this have to do with people's perspective of the clergy, people's own self judgement when they discover my goal involves the church which is thought of my many as a "noble" or "higher" goal, and a general surprise and uncertainty of what to say when their outlook of me changes.
I believe that my reaction to these people should be with understanding and patience and to be considered prayerfully. The road to becoming a pastor is a long hard one and being a pastor is not going to be easy. Approaching these kinds of tests critically, prayerfully, and with love and compassion will give me opportunities to witness, and help me to grow stronger in my path.
In conclusion, I am proud of my chosen path. I feel confident that I am choosing the path God wants me to get on. He has made it clear to me that even though the end of the path is still unknown, the path is the most important thing for me to be on. I look forward to learning how to understand other people's opinions and reactions with compassion.

My Prayer:
Father God,
Thank you for the gifts you have given me in life. thank you for the ability to analyse situations like this and approach them with understanding. Please continue to guide me in spirit and help me to be strong on this long road ahead.


Miss Amber Michelle said...

You are a beautiful person, whether your goal is to be a pastor or an astronaut. Your career does not define who you are. What you do and how you live your life is what matters. No one can tell you if what you're doing is right or wrong, because you are the only person walking down your road. As you know, I struggle with how others view me, too. But just know that you are loved by many, and you will be an awesome pastor!! Good luck on your journey...and I'll be here to make it not so long and hard.
Amber =)

Brian said...

Those are very sweet words Amber, thank you!

Tara Rodden Robinson said...

Hi Brian,

Thanks so much for sharing this thoughtful and open post. I imagine it might be really discouraging to have people respond in a negative or uncomfortable way. When I read your post, my heart was moved and inspired!

With love from your sister in Christ,