It seems like I spent a good part of my life fighting the pull to be a minister. Then, a few years ago, I had my Road to Damascus moment and I felt that I could fight no longer. It felt scary, but it felt right. I felt that God was giving me clear messages to become a trained-and-ordained minister. I knew it would take me longer than most. That gave me no pause; I figured it was for a reason and would ultimately help me.
And then ... diagnosis.
Funny, but even in all that fear of the first few days, the thought of ministry didn't disappear. In fact, I very cynically thought, "Well, this is just like in a book ... the heroine experiences a huge crisis that alters her faith, she turns her back on God and is done with religion."
Of course, I am a Unitarian, so even if I turned my back on God (I would argue I didn't, I just began to define God in a different way), that doesn't mean I'm done with religion.
Sidenote: Isn't it great to be part of a religion where our changing beliefs about God don't mean that we must exit out the side door of the chapel?
I had to put all seminary studies on hold to take care of LW. As time went on, and my thoughts about God and prayer changed, the thought of going back to seminary seemed to me distasteful. Being around surgeons and oncologists, it felt that for me to be a minister was frightfully self-indulgent. Especially a UU minister, who would serve such a tiny part of the population.
(This is where I am aware that this is a public blog ... I am fighting the urge to delete those words, because I don't want to offend any UU ministers. But the most important part of this blog, to me, is that I be honest about my feelings.)
And, ultimately, it's the case of the starfish. "I made a difference to *that one*." I have been blessed to have several UU ministers make a difference to me via their blogs and my blog. I can only imagine what a gift it would have been to have my own minister.
I think that the biggest issue is one of circular logic. Very soon after Little Warrior was diagnosed, I began hearing the refrain, "... this will make you a better minister."
Perhaps it will; I think all of our life experiences help us to be better ministers. I will go out on a limb here and say that I think a minister with 20 years experience will be a better minister than one with 6 months experience, assuming that s/he has learned something in that time, and is still willing to learn.
But the whole argument is so distasteful to me. For me to benefit in some way from LW having cancer ... I feel nauseated. Yes, I have learned from the experience. Yes, it has affected me in many different ways. But there is no lesson I learned that was worth an innocent baby going through that.
I guess I am still angry at the universe. Before, I saw messages from The Source in everything. I would be thinking about something, a song would come on the radio; I felt it was a message.
I am a petulant child. I fight against becoming a minister. Because LW's journey WILL have made me a better minister. And I don't want to reward the universe by allowing her pain to make me a better anything. I know that I sound like a spoiled child, even as I write those words. But the feeling remains.
I want to go back to seminary. To learn and argue and be exposed to new ideas. I just don't want to be a minister.