Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Computer Virus Gets Me Pondering

by Scott Dalen

Have you ever gotten a computer virus? They are annoying aren’t they? I write this with computer virus frustration very pressing. My computer at work was infected with something a few weeks back and I’ve been fighting it ever sense. I keep running my anti-virus software…it seems like it takes care of the problem and I get back to business… for a while. But then it comes back. No matter what I do, it just keeps coming back.

Have you ever noticed that when God starts talking to us, it resembles this situation? That’s been my experience. I think back to my personal period of discernment regarding going to seminary to become a pastor. I picked up the notion somewhere and it lodged itself deep in my brain. Every once in a while it would pop up. I would ponder on it, deal with each occurrence, thinking that would take care of it. But just like the pesky virus that is wreaking havoc with my work computer, the notion just wouldn’t go away.

Now, we all know how that little “virus” has turned out don’t we? I recently finished up my summer class and with the credit that I received from that class; I’m now a Middler. In other words, I’ve officially reached my second year student status at Luther Seminary. Honestly, I’m surprised at how quickly these two years have gone. I’ve also been very blessed with the support that I’ve received while going through this seminary journey. I have been encouraged and challenged in ways that have helped me to grow both in my personal faith as well as in my pastoral identity.

The new "virus" that keeps coming up on me right now deals with the decision of how to proceed over the course of the fall. Namely in terms of my current job. After Monday's interview, I will know whether or not I'm officially doing CPE this fall, though I'm pretty certain that I already know the answer. Last night, the congregational president called me to ask if I had any questions regarding the offer for this fall, which I didn't. I told her that things are really contingent on the interview as far as me officially accepting the offer.

As exciting of an opportunity as this is for me, it leaves me in a bit of a quandary. The question becomes what I choose to focus on. Do I continue in my full time job, and continue with school/ministry outside of regular work hours? Or do I let my full time job go and keep my focus on ministry and schoolwork? I’ll be honest; there are pros and cons of both choices. Just like my process of discernment about beginning school in the first place, this one just keeps coming back up on me. I’ll admit that I’m a little stumped at the moment.

I’m excited to see what the next few months hold. I’m humbled and grateful to have the opportunity to serve the congregation. Finally, I’m scared to see the potential for change looming on the horizon. Maybe I should just start with a deep breath.


Blogger Grandma Rose, PS said...

I was exactly where you are at many times. Well, maybe not exactly. I never had an offer to do a paid ministry job. I've contemplated dropping to half time and working half time at a ministry dream job.

Since my employer has a college tuition benefit for my youngest, I always come back to sticking it out until he is done qualifying for those benefits - which is next summer when CPE will be immediately followed by full-time internship. Best advice - don't decide anything till you think about it for a while, and God will put people in your path to give you some insight from their experience.

Peace and God Bless as you continue daily discernment.

7/22/2010 07:19:00 PM  
Blogger Grandma Rose, PS said...

guess I didn't read all your posts about the CPE gig at your church. Still, letting go of work is a big thing. So, the discernment is whether you do CPE part time at church while taking classes, or working and taking classes? I know I could not work and do CPE or take classes and do CPE.

Can you return to your job? Like taking a leave? Or would this mean you would be moving on?

No matter the way you look at it, life changes....

7/22/2010 07:29:00 PM  

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