What have I gotten myself into?

The material for my Patristic Fathers seminary course has arrived.  I’m looking at 2,000 pages of reading (which all looks interesting), not including whatever I’ll be reading for the research paper , plus lectures (on CD) and assignments.  I have 8 months to complete everything, but it still looks a bit daunting at this stage.

Then next week I start my bi-vocational life.  On Wednesday and Thursday I’ll be working at the church.  So I’ll be juggling two-part time jobs and all that entails.  My current job I can leave at work; my second job at church will spill over into “non-work” time.  I guess that’s one of the things I’ll face if I “go into ministry”.  There was a time in my life when all I wanted was a 9-5 job, something I could forget about at 5p.m. sharp.  I’d still like that, but it may no longer be in the proverbial cards.

So, two big things landing in my life at approximately the same time.  I can handle it.  I’m looking forward to it.  I’m terrified.  It’ll be great.  I’m feeling like adult responsibility is suddenly upon me (what children?) and it scares me: what if I’m not ready?  (Yes. I know. I’m nearly 31.)  What if I can’t handle it?  What if I blow it?

Now, I would be okay with all of that, because those events and responsibilities will unfold as time goes by.  However, I’m scheduled to speak on Sunday and the sermon just isn’t coming together, which makes everything else seem that much worse.

I’m having university flash-backs.  The knot in my gut because of a looming deadline—4 days until the due date and still no topic.*  Only, I can’t turn in my sermon late or get an extension, now can I?

I should resurrect my old motto again: “All in good time.”  Let’s hope “in good time” means before Sunday morning.

*I have a topic (or at least a passage of scripture) for the sermon, I think, but you see what I’m saying.

8 thoughts on “What have I gotten myself into?

  1. Anonymous

    Sounds as if you are saying “Help God!” which is not totally out of line.

    I will pray for you, promise.

  2. Linea

    Sorry for the anonymous comment – sent it from the i-pod earlier. I’ll have to watch for that and put in my name I guess.

    And I personally think that “Help God” is a perfectly legitimate prayer. He knows what you need and is probably fairly anxious to help.

  3. Don Hendricks

    I am very pleased that so many doors and opened for this change. Inspiration can strike at the last minute in the sermon process, just do the preparation. Are you a manuscript or outline or something else person at this time?


  4. Marc

    Thanks, Don.

    Currently (4 sermons in) I’m an outline or point-form person. When I spoke two weeks ago I had considered going with a series of key words and/or phrases, rather than an outline (’cause I thought I knew well what I was going to say), but I chickened out and went with the outline anyway.

    It’d be nice to one day be able to go as noteless as possible (it would feel more free and loose), but that’s not for everyone and it might not be for me.

  5. SharonK

    Hey, I don’t mind having a little snooze in the pew until you’re ready…well, not a three day snooze or anything. I have every confidence in you.

  6. brad

    DUDE – I’m so proud of you! If you didn’t feel scared, fearful, terrified and sick to your stomach i’d question you and why you want to get into ministry! It’s such a healthy thing to feel this way because you have a different responsibility now.
    Some advice – be honest and transparent. No one expects you to be Randall or anyone else for that matter. Be Marc! If you are having troubles – let your congregation know what your wrestling with in your sermon. You don’t need to come up with answers – you just need to be God’s vessel so that others will start wrestling with it as well.
    I’m praying for you (It’s Saturday so hopefully they work over time for tommorrow).


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