my inner monologue...
site by Andrew Seely
Friday, March 27, 2009
There was a point in my life where I felt strongly about my call to ministry. I knew it was what I wanted to do. It was what I studied for and it was what I was pursuing.
These days I'm not as sure any more. Maybe it's been the disappointments that I've faced over the last 10+ years that I've been in ministry (in some form or another). Maybe it's that I'm not really called to ministry. Maybe it's just the fact that I haven't found my "place" in the ministry world.
I'm broken, beat up, and scarred. And the longest stint I've done is 18months in ministry. And that was technically "part-time". I know many the pastors who are beat up after years of being in full-time ministry, and need healing and reconciliation.
I'm not saying I fully know what it is like to experience the hurt that comes from giving years of your life to a congregation then to be hung on a cross by them. Though more and more I'm wondering if I would be able to go through such an ordeal.
In my preparation for ministry I have made it a point to deeply know those who are in active ministry. To learn from them, to listen to them and to be a friend to them. Many of my closest friends and people who I cherish deeply are pastors (or were pastors). Maybe it's because I am too deeply involved with this group of people, that I hear the stories of hurt, betrayal, and loss that comes with being in full-time ministry. Maybe I am scaring myself too much. Or maybe I am too aware of the reality that awaits me if I choose to live a life of service to others in a church setting.
The reality is, that I don't want to enter into ministry unless I am sure it's what I am being called to. I don't want to go to seminary unless I know I am going to use it to it's fullest.
Is it a cop-out? Maybe. Is it truth? Yes.
Too often I have heard the phrase "If there's anything else in the world you want to do that is NOT ministry and you enjoy it, then do it." Some days that rings true. And some days I know how hard ministry is. I've been there myself and I've seen what it has done to others and I want nothing to do with it. I have enough hurt and misgivings in my own life. Do I really want to voluntarily subject myself to it as my job.
I know there are great rewards for self-sacrifice. And I whole-heartily believe it is the best possible way for one to live their life. Serving God and serving others is the end goal for man. I love doing it, when it's at it's best. I really love the satisfaction that I get from knowing that I'm investing in others, and I mean that in the least self-serving way possible.
Yet I have deep doubts and reservations. I have people affirming gifts in me. I know enough to do it. Yet I do not feel it deep down. At least for now.
Which brings me back to the idea of discerning the sense of call. If I am to truly and fully understand the principal of a call then it is doing the work that God sets forth for us. Each individually and specifically. How much is our call based on our participation in the process? Do we really ever get to a point where we know "this" is what we should be doing and brings us the most fulfillment. Isn't that what a call is about, fulfillment, both in the sense of knowing what we are supposed to be doing and receiving joy in doing it? Or can we be called to do things that bring us no satisfaction?
I know part of the process of entering into ministry (at least through the Presbyterian means) is the committee on ministry being the discerning body that examines a candidate and evaluates their sense of call. I know of committees that have let people through they probably shouldn't have and then I know of committees that have denied people that I think have a great call. Just one more reason I'm not ready to subject myself to such things.
I'm putting my call on hold. I'm not giving up on it. I'm not stopping thinking about it. I just want to be sure about what I'm getting into. That doesn't mean, others will stop prodding me about it, or that I will heed every piece of advice that I'm given. I really want to understand a sense of peace about the situation. There are still too many questions and "what ifs" in my head. I'm still searching for my sense of belonging and still searching for my "place" within the ministry structure and the church structure. While I value the journey of getting places, I still find a underlying need to have a sense of destination. Correct me if I am wrong, but off the top of my head, I can't think of a time when God called someone without having a destination or goal for them.
This is where I stand. Exactly where I am. Straining to hear. Desperately wanting to hear. That thin, faint voice of the God who created me.
andrew+seely thoughts ministry call vocation
Thursday, March 26, 2009
I don't know if I've mentioned it here on the blog, but I've been keeping track of this movie for a few years now. The moment I heard it was being made I got giddy. The moment I heard Spike Jonze was directing it I peed my pants.
The beloved book Where the Wild Things Are is now a major motion picture. I talked about this yesterday on twitter, but thought I'd share in more detail here.
This film almost didn't come to be. It's gone through multiple delays, re-writes, and studio mumbo-jumbo.
Spike almost left the project and I vowed not to watch the movie if Spike's visionary talent was not attached to the film. Basically here's what I think happened.
What it boils down to is that this is not a "kid's" movie. This is a movie the deals with real emotion, fear, hope and beauty. Taking the premise of the small book and turning it into a full 90min movie is hard enough, but how do you translate something that is more than a story about an imaginative boy who gets sent to his room. That's where I knew Spike was the right person to be behind the screenplay and the director's chair. What Spike was going to create I knew would be inventive, brilliant and visually stunning. Though NOT specifically kid friendly. The studio shot back some junk about not liking the casting of Max (the little boy) and therefore put the picture in jeopardy. The film got put on hold and ultimately delayed.
Today we finally began to see this vision realized. There were a few screenshots, but nothing would be as convincing as seeing these larger than life creatures move and saunter with our own eyes. Finally we have a full trailer for the film.
Trust me when I say you have to plain just see it. The scope and grandeur of this film is going to be breathtaking. Note in the trailer of the montage of Max running through various locations (about 1:28). I can only imagine seeing those on a large screen in detail, simply awe inspiring. The other thing that vividly sticks out to me are the eyes. There's humanity and feeling behind the eyes. Take a close look at them during the trailer. Kudos to either the Henson workshop or the CG peeps, they nailed it. I'm very excited for this october 16th (fingers crossed that it doesn't get pushed back) when the film will finally be released to the public. I have long been a fan of Spike Jonze for his willingness to step outside the confines of what is traditional and take risks with his work. Here's hoping this film is everything I hope and want it to be.
For now sit back and watch the trailer. If you have the time, watch the full 1080 HD version which can be found here.
check back in 24 hours for a new post "called?"
movie where+the+wild+things+are spike+jonze trailer
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Thursday, March 05, 2009
Today I upgraded my bank acct for a few different reasons. But one of the unintended effects of this I discovered once I signed online to look at some stuff. That result was being able to design the look of my own ATM card.
Basically I have about 2/3rds of the card to upload an image of, though the numbers of the card will run a little over the image, but more or less there is plenty of room for what I want to do.
I couldn't immediately think of an image that I would want on my card, so I threw the idea out to twitter-land.
One of my followers @natashawescoat suggested
@andrewseely make of a pic of one of your ghetto blogs! But customize it!Brilliant!!!
That's what I did. I'm hoping that by using the card I will get a few laughs. It doesn't look like the card will get here before my trip to Austin for SXSW (south by southwest) next week, but I'm excited to get it.
Without further ado, the very special ghetto blog that will only appear on my card (and yes here):
(in true ghetto fashion, I originally spelled "thieves" as "theives" and had to fix it, then retake a bunch of pictures)
andrew+seely atm+card design custom twitter ghetto+blog
Sunday, March 01, 2009