Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Five Year Old in Me

When I was five-years-old, I was part of a graduation ceremony at my nursery school.  All of the graduates walked onto a wooden bridge and said their name, favorite color, favorite food and what they were going to be when they grew up.  Most of the kids in my class wanted to be police officers, fire fighters, teachers, moms and dads.  Here's what I said:

My name is Sarah, my favorite color is blue, my favorite food is macaroni and cheese and I'm going to be a minister when I grow up.

Tomorrow I finish my third week of CPE.  Can you believe I'm that far into it?  I can't.  It seems like just yesterday I was getting ready for orientation.  The program is 11 weeks long, meaning I am about a quarter of the way through.

That is insane.

A lot of the reflections that I am making I don't necessarily feel comfortable sharing right away.  I promise I will when we get a little further away from the cases I am reflecting on.  But every day I am learning so much - about myself, about ministry, about people and about life in general.  

In my weekly reflection paper that I turned in to my supervisor a few days ago, I talked about pastoral authority.  It feels weird for me to be doing CPE now, at a time in my life when I am scraping together the last couple of requirements for ordination.  Pastoral authority seems just out of reach to me right now.  I'm waiting patiently for that time-honored tradition of the laying on of hands.

And yet - in the hospital - I do have pastoral authority.  When I walk into someone's room, I am their chaplain.  I minister to them.  I'm their minister.

Who knows if my 5-year-old proclamation about vocation was actually a call into ministry.  But it is amazing to think that 20 years later, this is what I'm doing.

And I love it.  I really, really love it.


  1. Great post. I think that's cool about what you said - and now here you are! How wonderful for those people to have a chaplain like you!

    Three weeks already??? That did go fast!

  2. How amazing is that! And the most important thing is that you really love it!


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