So I’ve been feeling pretty smug recently as I’m finally pursuing this course of becoming a vicar, and I’m meeting lots of lovely people, and learning about new and challenging topics. It’s all pretty wild- my new day off I think is going to be a Tuesday or Thursday which feels slightly unlikely after working a 9-5 Mon-Fri for the last 20 years or so!
Me and the kids are going to be joining in new activities, and it’s all fab. Except of course, noone is going to be paying me my lovely NHS salary once a month anymore! I’m lucky to receive a grant during training and will be in receipt of extra benefits, so it’s not all fine, but I have been feeling slightly like my side of the bargain is pretty strong negotiating position.. until Friday!
On Friday I was sitting in church which was open for prayer, and I had a picture of the stars shifting, turning like the side of a globe… it seemed like God was trying to say, look mate, I created the universe, the stars, the planets, you may or may not be in my good books, but you are still one speck in the whole of creation!
It’s also becoming increasingly clear to me that whilst my new vocation will allow me to spend much more time thinking about, talking and discussing god, it doesn’t make me any more loved or special. That’s because like the way I love my children, there is no more love to earn. Sometimes I impose conditions on my kids, like “bed time now, or there is no computer tomorrow” but it’s not like they will be any more loved as a result. I’ve learnt the hard way that any relationship or friendship where conditions are attached, is not worth bothering with.
There are no reward points on my “Godcard”, there is no Fast Track to Jesus, there is no tally of deeds done, it’s just basically that God loves me, as he’s always done. The only difference is that he’s got a new role in mind for me, but that’s it! Each of us serves in our own unique way, whether as accountants, politicians, traffic wardens or nurses, so there is no score board, and no ladder to climb.For years I think I’ve put priests and vicars on something of a pedestal, and although it’s a big sacrifice in many ways serving God in this way, it’s also a real privilege, and honour.
I’m working for our maker, the one who created the stars, but I’m not going to be able to count them any more than anyone else. Turns out this is an issue many people have thought about over the years
Psalm 8 v 1-5
Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in the whole earth!
You have set your glory
in the heavens.
2 You have made sure that children
and infants praise you.
Their praise is a wall
that stops the talk of your enemies.
I think about the heavens.
I think about what your fingers have created.
I think about the moon and stars
that you have set in place.
4 What are human beings that you think about them?
What is a son of man that you take care of him?
5 You have made them a little lower than the angels.
You placed on them a crown of glory and honor.