On Ash Wednesday I find myself on the third day of a Bishop’s Advisory Panel, where I and two other Advisors are assessing eight candidates on their calling to enter training for the ordained ministry.
It’s a fascinating experience, and quite a responsibility holding their complete lives, with warts and all, up to God’s light for inspection and analysis. But what a privilege to hear each of their stories of God’s call on their lives, to listen to their reactions to situations and see the way they are already being used in the church and the world.
For each of us, it takes a while, in the story of our lives to recognise God’s presence. It may be he gives us a sudden jolt, or we uncover something of God’s being a layer at a time. Perhaps he comes as Christ in an event when something like scales are lifted from our eyes, or in the realisation that life must be more than just a routine. If God is in us, then he too is in others, which makes our relationships, our community building, our love for our neighbour even more important.
So on Day One of my Lenten Journey I need to look at myself and ‘name’ God in my own story, and then look at those I meet with the same sense of appreciation and care.