Sometimes I wonder if there's anyone else who thinks the way that I do. I consistently get caught up in "how things should happen" instead of just going along with the way they actually do happen.
For a long time now I've had this innate fear/feeling/thought that if I enter into a situation in life that resembles another's situation, that I am destined to experience the same fate that my predacessor suffered. Another thought that plagues me at times is that if I can't imagine what it would be like to either experience something or be somewhere, then it must be that I will never experience it. These are ridiculous thoughts of course, and I see them as that but nonetheless they are an ever present picture in my mind that my life will not be any different than anyone else's. Were I to dwell on such thoughts and allow them to infiltrate to the core of my being, I would most certainly lead a rather sad existence without any hope of anything different. The fact of the matter is, I don't allow those thoughts to overwhelm or overcome me and I actively fight them off and surrender to the Spirit of God for comfort and assurance so that hope can exist in my life.
Hope is an interesting concept that I'm not sure is entirely easy to understand. Why should hope be the one thing that an entire religion holds onto? In a world full of scientific "fact" and theory (of course I speak of the "Western World") such an idea is ludicrous. Why base your life on something that you can't even prove or say is absolute? They do raise an interesting question and I think it's a question that we as believers individually need to wrestle with and reach a conclusion on if we really are to give our lives to such a cause. I am heading into a full-time pastoral ministry position within a couple very short months and this is a question that I don't seem to have difficulty with anymore. The answer to said question of course looks and sounds different for each person but the elements are essentially the same. The answer comes with time, experience, surrender and difficulty sometimes. And it seems much more simple than it actually is, or maybe it's much more simple than it indeed seems. But the ultimate conclusion that we come to as believers in such a hope is that it is indeed a legitimate hope. It is not a lie that we are trusting, it is in fact the truth that comes from God.
I have recently experienced something that I fully believe and hope will remain with me for the remainder of my life and that is an adjustment of faith that I don't believe has anything to do with me. Where I once suffered great agony in my soul of struggle with the truth of God, there is a peace and calm that can only come from one source, THE Source. Such a struggle does not seem to be evident in my mind these days, who knows maybe my sinful nature will once again catch up with me and my mind will be clouded from my Father but as for now I will live in the comfort and the assurance of hope.
And as for what I began with, those thoughts continue to flare up in mind, as I venture into pastoral ministry alone, I look at the negative possibilities and the negative experiences others have had, forgetting the positive ones and forgetting that my life is not like anyone else's. That's a weird thought I know, because we should all know that we're different than everyone else and our personal experiences will not follow any kind of precident, because with God, there seems to be no such thing and that's something that I am a huge fan of. I'm afraid of being single for long, yes, but I'm beginning to see the importance of the place in life that God has put me for now and that's part of this place. So I will carry on, I will walk into situations that I don't know the outcome to because I know that God's not finished with me yet, it kinda seems like he's only getting started.