Matt: Why bother?
It’s a question you’re going to ask yourself a few times during training. Assignments come in thick and fast; by the time you’ve finished one you’re working towards the next! But you manage to find a couple of days off for your family and then find that they disappear because you start a placement. Then there’s student reflections and supervisors’ reports that need to be in. Everybody will be asking how long till you finish your training and you’ll be counting it down by assignments rather than months.
All Saint’s is not a part-time course; it’s a course you do alongside employment. My sector placement is to do with chaplaincy within an airport, a hospital, a sixth form college and as a Street Angel in Oldham (photo). My current modules are mission and evangelism, doctrine and history and the New Testament.
My calling has taken a battering this year on many points: I felt academically inept at completing the course, and my work as a paramedic has been difficult. My staff and I have experienced challenging and tragic incidents, from attending the deaths of babies and children, to witnessing the absolute inhumanity of others. Seeing the effect this has had on my staff and myself has led me to ask: Why bother?
With everything that goes on with academic studies, life, and work it’s easy to think that we’re doing this all on our own, or are simply jumping through hoops to get that dog collar on in one, two or three years, depending on your course.
But writing this blog and reflecting have shown me how God sets us up much like the barrels of a lock. To open a lock, all the tumblers need to be in line before that key will turn and reveal what’s behind. And this part of the year has felt much like that.
Paramedics go out and respond to calls to save lives. Ordinands study, read books, write papers, pray and live exceptionally holy lives 😊. But what happens when God get’s in the mix? God will place you in the right place at the right time and with the right knowledge.
Paramedic ordinands get to sit in on homeless meetings, then in the same week get introduced to MPs who talk about how they can help the homeless. Paramedic ordinands sit in on End of Life care presentations at a hospital which leads to conversations with End of Life care Advanced Paramedics, and links are made.
The tumblers all get lined up and when the door opens you are introduced to how God networks. And believe me that is as real as any miracle; nobody quite networks like God!
So hang on in there, there’s a miracle behind that door, God’s just lining up the tumblers for you!