Toying

It’s Wednesday. I got up early partly so I could get some homework done, but partly so I could write something on my blog and read a little. I discovered William’s blog after I got an email telling me that he had read my blog. Of course we ended up talking about God, since that’s kind of all I do nowadays, or so it seems. I was kind of laughing last night because I go to a Christian school and yet I can’t seem to make Christian friends. I’m sure God has a hand in that. Many things that He does in my life are ironic. It is impossible to refute that God has a good sense of humor. Just ask the platypus.

I’ve mentioned in a previous post that I’ve been toying with the idea of becoming a pastor. On Monday night I stayed up a little later than I should have and did a little more research into what that entails. Well, it sounds like a heck of a lot of work. I think I’m up to it, though. It sounds like pastors do a lot of counseling and things like that. I actually kind of laughed when I read that because when I was a sophomore in high school, I had thought about becoming a counselor, but I really didn’t feel like going through all the work of getting a psych degree. I’m sure going through Seminary is no cake-walk, but at least I won’t have to deal with neuroscience (most likely). That’s actually why I decided not to be a psych major (at least part of the reason). I think very abstractly, so science and math tend to confuse me (although I did pretty well with Chemistry in high school). I guess that’s why things like Theology and Philosophy interest me so much. Not to mention the fact that I just like to argue sometimes.

What’s odd is that I can totally see myself as a pastor, but at the same time I so totally can not. One thing that’s holding me back from totally loving the idea is that it seems like being really nice is a kind of prerequisite. Maybe I’m generalizing, but my thinking is that maybe I’m just not nice enough. That’s not to say that I think I’m a mean person. I’m awfully mellow, but I’m also kind of obnoxious in that I will tell you exactly what is on my mind. I’m not exactly subtle sometimes. In some situations I can tend to talk without thinking. This just seems like something I would need to be more careful of if I became a pastor.

Another problem that I’m a little more worried about is that I’m a little unorthodox in my beliefs. I’m sure there are like-minded people out there, but they might be a little harder to find than the average protestant Christian. The other thing is that I think there are certain people in my largely Catholic family who wouldn’t exactly love the idea. Trust me, if I could be ordained in the Catholic Church I’d go for it, but since I can’t I’d have to go somewhere else. I’m thinking I’d go to a nondenominational church. That seems like safe-ish territory.

Of course I say I’m only toying with the idea and then I go off on a tangent. If anyone has any advice or insight, please leave comments! That would be super helpful! Thanks in advance!

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2 thoughts on “Toying

  1. Nicety is not technically a requirement for pastors or psychologists. Just look at Dr. Phil – I’m not sure it’s possible to be more blunt than he is without entering the realm of rudeness and he is excellent at his profession. By all accounts, Dr. King was a fantastic pastor and he was anything but subtle when it came to speaking his mind. The one absolute necessity, in my opinion, for being a competent pastor is the same for psychologists – the ability to actively listen. Compassion, understanding, sympathy, these things are certainly helpful but if you are not actually listening to others you cannot be truly effective at counseling them, in either job.

    I would also like to point out that having an unorthodox viewpoint does not bar you from ministry. Far from it actually. If anything, I would say such beliefs should be eminently helpful in allowing you to relate to others from an interfaith perspective. It is true that if you decide to attend a seminary you will have to do more research than say your average Baptist when deciding where to go but you still have plenty of options. Non-denomination Christian ministry is certainly a valid choice.

    From my experience, most Methodist ministers also seem to hold beliefs similar to your own, at least from my limited understanding of the nature of your faith. You may also like to consider a Unitarian Universalist seminary as UUs tend to be extremely liberal, focusing on the search for spiritual truth from many sources rather than mandating a fundamentalist viewpoint as a requirement for church membership.

    My advice is to follow your heart and make the decisions that seem correct to you based on your understanding of God’s divine will. You seem most comfortable with Christianity so clearly that would be the appropriate direction for you but I would caution against attending a conservative seminary that would attempt to stifle your perspective as a means of promoting their beliefs. I cannot see such an experience as being healthy and it would certainly stifle the natural progression of your faith.

    I hope this brief discourse has been helpful. I suggest that you, as one should do with all external advice, pick the parts most useful to you and please feel free to discard the rest 🙂

    Yours in the Grace of God,

    William

    1. Thanks, William. This was very helpful. I’m so glad you read my blog the other day and I just randomly decided to be argumentative and so forth. 🙂

      I just kind of have a “thing” with niceness. When I’m receiving advice or what have you, I don’t particularly like things to be thrown in my face (although I’ll admit it can be more helpful), and I think a lot of people share that sentiment. I think strong empathy can be just as helpful, at least sometimes. I’ll have to think about it.

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