27.2.09

An expensive trip to the DDO

I think what happened to me today serves as something of a metaphor for the type of person that I am.

How does one prepare to see a DDO? I ddo dunno. So... I just sat and prayed and looked over a few books at home, like 'Ministry in Three Dimensions' etc. I fed myself bits of breakfast throughout the morning and set off with just enough time to go so that I wouldn't be left to get nervous in any reception area.

But between getting out of the car and walking to the carparking ticket machine, I was in such a daze that I totally messed up my ticket, paying for half an hour when I thought I'd paid for an hour and then not having enough change to pay for a whole hour to add on, which, of course, would only provide me with another half hour, because I would have had simply two tickets overlapping for half an hour (if you're with me).

To cut a long story short the interview with my DDO cost me a £50 parking ticket, £25 with a 2.6% surcharge, if I pay over the phone tomorrow.

I think that this serves as a metaphor in two ways.

The first way - I get so excited by the bigger picture, the result, the vision, I sometimes send skittles flying right, left and centre on the way. So I do not prepare on the little things if they only affect me, I can hack it, I figure, so long as the larger goal is achieved. So I miss meals so I can be places on time. I spend money on things which I could have made or borrowed but I don't make the time to make or borrow them. I walk to interviews confused about parking tickets which I should go back and sort but don't. I hope that I can get a grip on this one because I might end up making a lot of mistakes which are costly. The little things do matter.

Secondly - ministry, in whatever form that might be, I'm to think about Pioneer ministry, is going to be costly. There are visions which will have to be compromised because they are not the visions which other people share. There will be visions for which the church has neither the finances nor the man-power. It's going to be about compromising some of my idealism, being a bit more gritty.

What is great is that it would seem that they haven't flung me out yet. It's all still to play for. I wondered if the church might think me an overly stubborn and determined creature for having got myself into theological college without their support (I'm a fee-paying independent student) but she said that this enthusiasm wasn't something that would frighten, so that's great. So I need to sort out a spiritual director - sounds exciting! And I need to fill in a lot of paper-work for three weeks time.

And it's amasing how good at their jobs these people are. Now I am a spiller, I don't hold back and I'm quite articulate and self-aware so when people ask me about myself I'm not backward about coming forward but she sussed me straight away, summed me up - had me sorted. My DDO explained how there are these two expressions within me, one child-like: enthusiatic and idealistic, the other parent-like, apologising for the excesses of the child and tempering the enthusiasm. So I might work (pray) on harmonising these two currents. This was all very illuminating.

2 comments:

Tim Goodbody said...

Thanks for this Rachel
Ministry is costly all right, but (on a good day or in a good week so maybe don't ask me this week when everything is going avocado pear shaped) its worth paying in blood sweat and tears to get to the place, to be the person/minister God has called you to be.

Rachel said...

I'm realising that yes, determination can be a good thing. Having vision but being able to compromise. Having a point of view but also a teachable spirit. I was asked some very tough questions but it was great to be able to articulate my vision and test it out on someone who must have heard a lot of faith stories and visions. DDOs must meet such a variety of types of people and they have quite an awesome responsibility.

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