On my return home, I was offered another job—a promotion, with the further incentive of a company car. But to take it, I would have to move again, and to another city. Now I wasn’t ready yet to plunge myself into theological studies, and so I kept that a secret. But I did consider that this promotion might solve the sense of dissatisfaction that I had been feeling. As a consequence it seemed an offer to good to refuse. So I took it. Indeed at the time I don’t think that the ramifications of being a Christian had really clicked, so I grabbed on to the one tangible thing that had come my way, hoping that was the answer.
Of course the change of location, also meant a change of church, and for a while I went to the closest church to my new home—right next door. But I quickly found that church unsatisfactory, and began looking further afield until I found one I was happy to call home. And there I would have probably stayed, except I was informed that my job was about to end.
I was told the company that I worked for was rationalising their business, and there would be retrenchments offered around the country. However, they didn’t want to lose me. So they offered to pay the costs involved in return me to the original office, and they offered me a job with the same salary and conditions.
Now this was when I started to seriously question the direction I should be taking. Was it work, or was it college? The thought of theological college was at the very forefront of my mind, and I wondered whether this was the time for the break. I even pursued this line of enquiry by getting as much information as I could about colleges and costs. I also discovered that there was one college in particular in the city to which I had been invited to go.
The problem was, even with all this information, I still didn’t how it could all be possible. Apart from all the transport costs and the costs of setting myself up in another city, there were the course fees, and I still had to eat. But just a few days before I had to respond to the deadline for the transfer, a solution was suggested.
Indeed, I plucked up the courage to talk to my boss about the dilemma I was facing. And to my surprise it was he who came up with a solution—one I hadn’t even considered. He suggested that I take up the company’s offer, and study part-time in the evening. That way I could test my call. So that is exactly what I determined to do.
Before I went, though, I had some very important conversations. I talked to the rector of the church that I had been attending about what I was planning; I also talked to my previous rector. Both were very encouraging. Indeed, both suggested that before I went, I should talk to the Diocesan bishop about being considered as a candidate for ordination. And I took up their suggestion.
Needless to say I was very nervous when I approached the bishop’s door for our meeting. But as it happened I had no need to be. He was very gracious, and before what seemed no time at all, I was leaving his office knowing full well that if all went well in my first year of part-time study, and if I still felt the same, I would be accepted as a candidate for ordination.
So ten months after having accepted promotion, I was off again. And a new adventure was about to begin.
To be continued …
Posted: 14th August 2016
© 2016, Brian A Curtis