Discerning God's voice is a challenge. Not so much in that it is hard to do, but in so much as when you hear it you need to listen. Today and yesterday were my third session at Phase 1 College in Port Elizabeth. It seems to happen that Tuesday leaves me feeling really depressed and discouraged, but by the time I have driven home on Wednesday I have renewed hope.
I think that I struggle when I see complacency and a lack of desire to change and little hope for church to be an expression of the body of Christ, rather than an institution. The point of college is, I suppose, to conform the church's trainee ministers to a mould. And in some areas this is essential. But some areas irk me. I don't want to conform. There is maybe 5% of college that really gets to me - and I need to recognise that it is only a small percentage!
We had a great devotional Bible Study with Rev Anthony Sutton from Jeffrey's Bay last night. And I realised that God was saying stuff to me. For the past three or so years he has said the same thing to me with almost monotonous regularity. It was good to hear something different, but it frightens me. I need work at clarifying what he is saying and the challenge of refining my sense of call. Is God calling me to the pastoral ministry - or to some other ordained ministry role?
Part of this rises from the almost certain fact that I will be spending 3 years at seminary from next year. Communication within the church is not good in this area and everything is very new, but what I have established from talking to various people is that however difficult I might find this way forward personally it is probably best for the Methodist Church as a whole.
And somewhere in this, God is modifying my calling and I know that I don't want to hear him. But - where is there to go but to Jesus because he has the words of life (with thanks to Peter in the NT).