i passed my denomination's ordination exam earlier this week. i'm so glad it's over because it's been a rather terrible process: 3 exams and an inhumane level of studying. i felt like i was reduced to a bible trivia machine. i often compared it to a hazing process for a frat because it felt like unneccessary pain just to join some exclusive club. i told rob and josh throughout the process that i found the whole ordeal fairly life-draining. i missed two major family trips (maine and arizona) to study or take an exam. that was sad. but i had time to meditate on words pastor ro shared with me regarding ministry and family during our mentoring sessions — they are fast becoming a reality.
i think the one life-giving part of this process was meeting with the leadership development team. that was actually enjoyable because i was dealing with real people rather than a written piece of paper or a group of people at a distance. i felt like i could be myself with them without too much concern for accidentally punching heresy buttons. i could laugh with them at the ridiculous questions i had to answer and the really forced contrived scenarios i had to address in order to show my beliefs about a rather obscure or minute point of dogma. they seem like good people.
that's one of the things i need to get over: these are good people, not people that merely want to test my orthodoxy. now that i've passed this last exam i am formally in their company. one of them and can serve alongside them. i'm glad that they are real people who have families, enjoy tv shows and movies, have pet peeves, and altogether are just people. i perhaps have too long aligned their character with my feelings for the examination process.