I’m currently looking at a potential curacy and trying to figure out whether or not it is where God wants me to be.
If I’m honest, for a “Charasmatic Evangelical” Christian, I really am very suspicious of most Charasmatics. So many seem to talk as if God and them regularly chat over coffee. “So I got up in the morning and asked God what colour socks I should put on, and he said I should wear the red socks.” I rather think that, if God normally communicated in that way, his answer to such a stupid question would be closer to “I gave you a brain, try using it and pick your own flipping socks!”
I’ve been a Christian for a long time now (relative to my age) and, in my experience, figuring out what God is saying just isn’t like that. Maybe I’m just not listening, or I’m just not “tuned” right. The Bible certainly seems to portray God speaking very clearly to individuals. Indeed, I have had the rare occasion where God seemed to “pop” a very clear instruction in my head! However, I think this is really very unusual and it might be helpful if we all started to be a bit more honest about it all.
I suppose it just doesn’t sound as good saying “I’ve kind of had a feeling recently that I should do this and after praying about it the feelings got stronger and I think maybe God is possibly trying to tell me it’s the right thing to do”. It just doesn’t have the same feeling of authority as saying “God has told me to do this”.
For me it’s usually a gut feeling. For example, when looking at theological college, I went to see St. John’s in Nottingham. It was a good college, with good lecturers and friendly students. I really have nothing bad to say about it. It just didn’t feel right for us. My gut feeling told me it was wrong. However, when I visited Trinity, my ‘gut’ told me it was right. Even before we entered the door, before I met a single person, I somehow knew it was right. Over time I’ve come to trust these ‘gut feelings’ and even to believe that they are the Holy Spirits work.
Which brings me to my potential curacy. I thinks it’s fair to say I can think of quite a few things that are “wrong” with this parish. It’s not the type of church I had in mind, filled with the age of people I had in mind or even in the type of area I had in mind. But, and this really is the annoying bit, my ‘gut’ is telling me it’s right. As usual, I’ve prayed more, spoke to different people about it and endlessly thought it through. But it still feels right.
I guess I better take it. After all, God’s the boss!