In July I was invited to be part of the Church's new process for testing the call of potential candidates for ministry. Recognising the fact guinea pigs aren't (normally) eaten in Scotland, I accepted the invite to be a guinea pig in my corner of the country. The process doesn't differ hugely to the original-it is more a 'complete package' within a defined period of time.
Part 1 involved a psychological questionnaire to determine what kind of person I am. Having encountered shorter versions in my work life, I recognised the types of questions, but have no idea what my answers indicate about me.
Then came the stuff from 121. Part 2- what makes me who I am. Many people have an answer to the 'which person dead or alive inspires you?'-style questions. I don't. It's not that I'm uninspired nor that I don't seek inspiration. But one person, event or thing: I'm stuck. But I realised quickly (question 1) that this is the point- reflect, think and prepare for what's to come.
Each question is written, I presume, to focus the mind on what I have embarked to explore. Reflecting on what I regret the most was possibly the most challenging. I've always lived by the principle 'learn from your mistakes' therefore to have regrets would not be looking at an event/circumstance as a learning opportunity. So what had I done that I hadn't learned from and wished I hadn't done it? Truthfully I struggled, missed it out and came back to it!
The other questions weren't much easier but I am grateful for the opportunity to be asked allowing me to reflect not just for the purposes of enquiry but personally.
What inspires me? What influences me? I have answered in the here and now. Ask me the same set of questions 12 months ago I'm sure things would be looked at differently. Ask in 12 months time I'm sure things will be different again. God works in mysterious ways putting us all into situations unknown. He's given me the choice to listen or ignore. People to inspire and situations to influence. I need to look out for whoever and whatever in the next 6 months as as always, it'll happen for a reason.