Yesterday I met with my church minister who is also the Superintendent of the circuit. It marks the beginning of a journey I hope to undertake in becoming a local preacher.
Why should I do this? Why now?
I am a 48 year old Physiotherapist - a Clinical Specialist leading in the fields of acupuncture and non medical prescribing. A considerable part of my caseload includes patients with chronic pain. People with chronic pain not only have physical pain but also ffinevitably have to face up to emotional challenges, loss of earnings, loss of self esteem etc. some of the problems run very deep and may be seen as spiritual in nature. I have a talent with acupressure and have seen many patients helped by the art of gentle touch. The combination of this with active listening can provide a powerful healing scenario. I teach acupuncture to my colleagues and have received positive comments surrounding my presentation skills.
I have been a Christian for many years and have always had a passion for Jesus. I have come to appreciate that the relationship with God is supremely important. It is essential have God as my focus. Without this I would be likened to a ship at sea in a storm buffeted by the waves and at risk of being sunk. Whilst being immersed in God means that my "self" is put second, I have found that it is not an "either or" situation. Jesus' lordship is not like a human lordship where recent events in London seem to suggest that selfishness and greed in humanity is rife. With Jesus, we are affirmed as children of God and made whole in him. If we are look to ourselves, then we miss all the possibilities that Jesus offers. What I am trying to say here is that the balance in the relationship is key to my growth as a Christian. If I am self reliant then I become more important in my own eyes. With that, comes a diminution of the importance of the other and a real danger that I will follow what is in my own best interests - how dangerous is the slippery slope from here to the so called modern truth that claims "greed is good" and that we ought to look after "number one". Rather I need to become less reliant on self and more reliant on God, who is the source of so much more than I can provide anyway.
I am due to present my reasons at a church council meeting on 28th August.