In a few weeks the candidacy processes for ordination is going to become more official and seminary classes are going to start and I’m a little terrified. And not just in that way that I’m afraid of roller coasters but pretend I’m not and come up with a lot of reasons that we probably shouldn't ride Rockn' Roller Coaster today, look at those lines. Why don’t we go on Space Mountain so you can’t tell that I’m closing my eyes even though it's pitch black anyway and my 12 year old daughter is sitting in front of me with her arms raised. Not in that way, I mean genuinely terrified.
And the source of my nervousness? I’m afraid to really try.
That’s a dumb sentence, and perhaps this is an illogical thing to fear given all the very real nightmares I've faced in my life without blinking, but fear doesn’t really follow logic and that’s honestly the one in my head right now. I’ve got this weird belief that if I don’t really try, then I can’t really fail. I can always buy into the lie, “If I had tried, I probably could have done that.” But if I try, if I give it my all and my all isn’t enough, I’ll be crushed. It’s like the story the poet David Whyte tells of finally having that artist studio you always dreamed about. You finally get the perfect space in which to create and then you are faced with the blank canvas. There are no more excuses, you actually have to paint.
Attending seminary classes, actively pursuing certified candidacy, admitting that I’m structuring significant chunks of my day to work towards ordained ministry makes the whole thing feel “real” to me. I lose the security blanket of saying, “It’s just something I've thought about, it’s no big deal.”