As I write this post, I'm not in a good place. In fact, right now I'm feeling that I want to pack my bags, jump into my bakkie, and when I'm about 300km away send an e-mail to the president of the Seminary telling him where the disciplinary committee can come and find me.
I won't do that, of course - but right now, that's how I'm feeling.
There are a number of issues simmering below the surface, some of which I'm not at liberty to comment on using a public forum. And I also know that most of these issues will be sorted out in the next few days - some by speaking to the persons concerned, and others by simply sleeping on it. But there are one or two that are going to take a fair bit of soul-searching and prayer so that I can approach them in the appropriate Christian manner.
One of the minor things that is bugging me at the moment is the way in which we conduct ourselves in meetings. Now I know that not everyone has had the benefit of Toastmasters training, but surely it's just common courtesy and decency to keep one's big gob shut when another is in the process of asking a question and having it answered. On a number of occasions during our community meeting today, there was this massive upsurge in noise whenever someone asked a question. On this one you can stuff "culture" or any other "reason" for having private "meetings" within the main meeting - it's just rude as far as I am concerned! In my corporate days I sat in meetings with people who didn't even know (or care) that God existed, yet they had the common courtesy to keep quiet while the person speaking had the floor. Yet we are supposed to be ministers of the Gospel? Where's the respect?
But that is just a minor matter that is adding to the general feeling of unease. Of greater frustration is all the regulations and procedures that govern every aspect of Seminary life, right down to where and how medical claims must be paid! Now don't get me wrong - I understand the need for rules, and I DO appreciate everything that the Seminary and the Church is doing for us - but sometimes I feel quite humiliated by some of the processes.
Like I said earlier, there are one or two other things that are bugging me, which I need to deal with in private. Hopefully I can meet with the appropriate persons over the next few days, and that the "powers that be" and I can come to a mutual understanding - even if it means agreeing to disagree.
I guess I'm having one of these days where I REALLY wish that God had called me to ministry when I was 18 (or, if God HAD called me then, I wish I'd listened!). Because as much as I try to remind myself that not everyone has had my background and experience of holding senior corporate positions, running their own business, and playing a meaningful role in Church leadership, the fact that I have had these experiences makes my current life as a seminarian very frustrating at times.
The disappearance of Prof Steve de Gruchy over the weekend as a result of a tubing accident on the Mooi River is also eating at me a bit (and probably clouding my judgement as well). While I only know him as the head of the School of Theology and Religion at the University of kwaZulu-Natal and not personally, the number of tragedies has been piling up over the past year. First there was the death of Barry Marshall in a kayaking accident last year, then there was the tragic death of Prestbury Methodist's former youth pastor in a car accident at the beginning of this year, followed by the murder of Fikile Makananda's wife last month, and now Prof de Gruchy's disappearance.
Maybe my reaction to these tragedies is causing me to blow these other issues at the Seminary completely out of proportion. That may be true. Yet I know that sweeping them under the rug will eat away at me as well. All I know is that right now I need to pray - and wait - and listen - and, if need be, act (appropriately).
I guess this is all part of what Ross calls "formation"...
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