Many of us might wish that our lives followed a clear path with known curves and a progressive development making a beautiful pattern much like this:
But the reality of most of our lives ends up being much more like this:
There's a tangle and a twist, a confusion or two and some back-tracking; there's a mix of colours and directions with a few stable sections here and there.
The same, in my experience, is very much true of callings to ministry. There may be some smooth stretches but mostly the path through a calling is exciting, terrifying and confusing all at once.
The thing is not to worry, not to stress, not to think too far ahead.
Take one small section of the journey at a time; one colour before another, each curve in turn. That is easier said than done, but in my experience keeping focussed on the here and now is easier than looking at the big confusion of the changing picture as a whole.
No slinky springs were harmed in the making of this blog post, a beautiful one year old worked especially hard to provide the inspiration for the writing.