J is for Journey

As cautious as I tend to be, I often enjoy taking life journeys that require leaps of faith.  Perhaps it’s my art background, which fosters creativity, taking chances, and serendipitous discoveries.  Although scary, it’s also exhilarating and the outcome can be extremely rewarding.  Some of them have been as simple as experimenting with new art media or planning a major trip within a couple of days.  However, some of them have changed my life and that of my family.

I recently took a major life changing journey. I entered a program through which I will eventually be ordained as a priest.  It wasn’t an easy process to get into the program, but definitely a leap of faith.  For several years, my wife and I have been talking about me going to seminary.  I even had a conversation about it with my Bishop during one of his visits to our Church.  However, the need for a steady income, putting two girls through college, the need for relocating, and other issues did not make it feasible.  However, last November, when the Bishop was in town, he called to meet with me.  The Diocese was starting a bi-vocational program, and he wanted me to pray about it.

I accepted, and this led me to go through what is called a discernment process.  Prayers, meditations, retreats, lots of writing, and interviews with a diocesan committee were all part of the process.  Yes, it was a journey in itself.  After several months, I was accepted into the program.  It is a 3 year program that will allow me to continue to work in the field of education.  Thus far, I’ve been working on several assignments at home, in preparation to my first class.  The classes will take place once a month in San Antonio, Texas, which is about 2 1/2 hours from where I live.  My classmates and I will meet with our professors for 2 days every month for our classes.

Has this been an easy journey thus far?  No, it is a lot of work, especially since I was recently promoted to assistant principal in my school district.  I’m also having to learn a whole new lingo, since Theology is a totally new field for me.  However, I feel blessed, and I’m loving it.  I often feel tired, but it’s a good kind of tired.  I am also blessed to be working under a principal that is supporting my work.  Most importantly, my family has been behind me in every step I have taken.  For me, in the words found in Proverbs 3:5–6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. Acknowledge him in all your ways, and he will make your paths straight.”

So what life journey are you on?  I’d love to hear.  Blessings!