While we were going through the details of the service, choice of hymns, etc. I suddenly started getting a very uneasy feeling - the type where you ask yourself, "am I doing the right thing here?" It was a very strange and extremely disturbing sensation, this feling of doubt, as I sincerely believe that God has called me to full-time ministry, and I have journeyed for two years to get to this point.
But while I was driving to Heidelberg last night, wrestling with my thoughts, it suddenly dawned on me: I have had a similar feeling once before, and it happened about two months before I was to be married to Belinda. At that stage of my life, I was also wrestling with the question of whether I was doing the right thing. After all, one can change jobs, houses, and cars when they no longer meet your needs, but despite the relative ease of divorce nowadays, I didn't (and still don't) regard marriage as something you just walk away from when the "warm fuzzy feeling" is not as strong as before.
Entering the ministry is not the same as taking up a job. And while there are those who have resigned from the ministry (and it is by no means for me to judge why the persons concerned may have done so), my view of ministry is that it is meant to be like marriage - for life.
However, what brought me great comfort is the fact that despite this feeling of angst I had when preparing for marriage, the fact that Belinda and I are still happily married nearly 17 years later means that this carefully thought-out decision was ultimately the right one. Lord willing, the same will go for ministry as well.
No doubt Dion Forster and others who have studied the inner workings of the mind will have a rational explanation for this. For me, though, I cannot come up with a better explanation than "consider the cost before building the tower".
Did other ministers feel this way at the beginning?