I arrived in town a week ago, last Saturday night, after a nice ten-hour drive. I was relieved (and a bit weary) once I arrived, and it was great to be greeted by my hosts, a very active retired couple with generous hearts. I made it through a good portion of the trip by listening to some recent podcasts from Radiolab, This American Life, and Bishop Will Willimon.
I was thinking a lot on the drive out about my expectations are for the summer. In general, I try not to hold too tightly to expectations, so that I can be flexible if they aren't met. So I was surprised to realize that as it turns out, I have put a lot of my vocational discernment eggs in this summer's basket. Since before I started at Duke last fall, I've been looking at my Field Ed placements as experiences that will really shed light on whether I am moving towards ordained ministry or not. I'm counting on this summer not only to give me practical experience and to teach me good skills, but also to help illuminate my vocation.
I have spent a lot of time thinking about what it means to be a pastor, but I don't feel ready for people to think of me as a pastor. I think my first challenge this summer will be to overcome that doubt by a step of faith.
(Speaking of This American Life, Melissa has a good post about their truly outstanding recent program explaining the housing crisis.)