This week has been a week of moving back and forth. I’ve had a doctor’s appointment and then a hospital appointment regarding my right knee. I’ve been back to Horsham for both (and hopefully the result of the MRI scan in hospital will be a definitive plan to solve the knee problem). Whilst been back home I’ve tried to ‘hide’ but bumped into a couple of people. It was wonderful to meet with them, to talk briefly about what has been going on and for me to catch up just a little with the news from home.
I’m not sure how glad or otherwise the congregation and people of home will be to know that I’ve truly missed them all and am beginning to really look forward to coming back. I’ve missed worshipping with them, I’ve missed the governors meetings at Trafalgar School, I’ve missed my family, I’ve missed officiating at the Eucharistic and I’ve missed my own bed (those weren’t in any particular order!)
When I finally do get back to work and the normality that is Holy Trinity it will have been over 3 months since I last celebrated the sacred mysteries of Holy Communion. For me, missing this aspect of my role as a priest is a demonstration that I am called to be a priest. There might have been concern that my time away might have led me to think differently about my vocation; time to move on or time to move out. This has not been the case, it has deepened my sense of vocation and I feel it is such a shame that more of us cannot take the time that I have been given to confirm this part of life.
I can’t find it now but there is somewhere in the Bible that talks about different vocations given to people and there are the ones we might normally think of; Preacher, Teacher, Prophet… But the list I’m thinking of also lists administration as a gift, a vocation to be followed.
And why would God want everyone to be priests? Not everyone can be a teacher without engineers to design classrooms, builders to erect schools, electricians and plumbers to enable warmth and light to be in those classrooms, tailors to clothe, cooks to feed and cobblers to save the soles of everyone.
God gives to each one of us different gifts so that, as a whole commuity, we can work together. Each of us playing our own part.
If I were ever to be made a Bishop (Good Lord preserve us all) that would not be a promotion or an opportunity for me to be a better Christian. It would simply be a different calling. No better than being called to be a priest, called to be an engineer, called to be a shop worker, a scientist, a lawyer, an accountant or any of the myriad of other jobs and roles we undertake. God calls us to be individuals and He gives us an individual calling.
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.