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Help with a Catch-22


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I am strongly considering giving up a well-paying career and going into the Seminary. I feel that God has asked me to explore the opportunity.

 

Tt helps to talk to people about my feelings. I pray often and I'm very, very close to God, but it really does help to talk to regular people about it. I've talked to many Pastors, and they support me, but it's regular people, like family members, that I feel I need to have long conversations with about it. Not for them to make up my mind for me, but just to simply bounce off of them what's going on in my head.

 

THE CATCH-22

Each person I talk to about this doesn't want to hear about it. They all say, "It's really between you and God." I realise that I cannot do this unless God tells me to do it, but I still like to talk to people about it!!!

 

I'm just venting I guess. I don't know what the answer is. Pastors support me, people don't want to hear about it, God always listens. I'd like to share it with family and good friends. Share the experience. I'm frustrated that they won't even LISTEN to me!!

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Perhaps the regular family members and friends just aren't sure how to have this conversation with you. After all, it is a very personal thing to feel "called" by God to do what you are considering. For those who have not felt this calling it might be hard for them to relate.

 

If you feel comfortable posting your questions and concerns here about this, maybe some of the members have some insight they can share with you to help you with your decision.

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Going way out on a limb here, and I in no way mean to offend, but do you have any issues with internal anger that you wish to resolve first? I can't help but sense there's a little bit of something inside that isn't quite sitting with you well. I could be completely wrong. Or perhaps it's not an issue at all.

 

This is not familiar ground at all to me, but I understand this is a rather big step. I imagine you would want to make sure you're completely set for this new direction, right? Is everything in it's proper place?

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Thanks for your follow ups. Here's mine:

 

Inner anger or unresolved issues: Well, honestly, not sure. I have literally no debt (no car loan, loans, etc..), I have plenty in the bank, and my career is steady with good income until I go into Sem. I admit I've given up most of my friends from the past because of my focus on Christ. I'm not angry about it, but I felt that was a sacrifice I had to make. I had to lead, even if no one followed.

 

I did have some anger over an old girlfriend who broke my heart 5 years ago, but I have felt over that for the past 3 years and I forgive her as it was as much my fault as hers, but sometimes I get flustered when I think about it.

 

The only thing I would have to admit that is unresolved is my family's sense of pride and how I cannot stand that. My family is SO guilty of self-worship. No one has time for anyone. Everyone judges everyone. It's disappointing, thus why I'm writing I think. They would rather talk about football or gambling.

 

Maybe the reason I want to talk to them is to share something beautiful with them and maybe I'm frustrated because they don't want to share it or they don't think it is beautiful.

 

I'd have to say I have no inner anger, but maybe an unresolved issue of trying to give peace to my family.

 

I want to discuss my deep love for Christ with my family. I want to discuss philosophical and theological ideas with them. I want to get deep with them about all of this so the process is one they can gain from as well. They prefer the sports page. I want a deeper connection, to give them what I have.

 

It's frustrating. They are my family after all. I can't just walk away from them. I can't stop being me. Maybe I should just let it go and focus soley on Christ. Let Christ resolve the issue. I'll have to pray about it.

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a couple articles that might be of interest

 

and

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A site that may be able to offer you a little help and suggestions if you need it, specifically for people such as yourself entering the ministry as a second career.

 

It seems part of your frustration is coming from something that isn't easy to resolve except within yourself - you're on a different level than the people you're trying to express your thoughts to, your family doesn't have the same involvement or aptitude, so in a way, it would be like an engineer excited about a wonderful invention trying to explain the details to someone completely outside the field - they might be able to appreciate how excited HE is about it, but the details, they just wouldn't have the necessary foundation to appreciate properly. They don't have the internal tools to appreciate the same things about it you do. They may be nice people in their own right, with some of their own unique attributes - but you're simply on a different level than they are when it comes to your faith, and that's not something you can be responsible for or fix, it's something that they have to be ready themselves to open up to.

 

I'd see if maybe you could find some people who made the career choice you're facing and who are currently pursuing it, and talk to them if you can. I'm sure many of them have faced similar problems and frustrations, and they might be able to give you some tips in getting past them, and some ideas of the challenges they've faced and are facing currently.

 

If you can establish some contacts like that, it might help give you an arena to discuss those things your family can't understand with people who can, and be able to appreciate your family as just people who love you, but aren't necessarily ready to or capable of sharing this with you yet. There's a place for everyone - it's just sometimes disappointing when the people we would wish could fill a role just aren't capable of it, and we have to search elsewhere for fellows to fill that niche.

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