Friday, 29 January 2010

It's all in the reflection

In the enquiry and training process for the Church of Scotland, there is a lot of emphasis on reflection. It will prove to be a useful discipline for whatever ministry lies ahead.
So often it's only when we look under the surface that we can see the whole picture.
Particularly in our encounters with others, there are so many levels and layers to be explored before we can come to any semblance of understanding.
While enforced journalling might prove demanding, and seem, at times, artificial, it is a wonderful habit to foster and will help to ensure that our reflection, rather than being introspective will help us to broaden our perspective. Like seeing the snow on the hilltops, invisible until glimpsed in the reflection.


Nik said...

The journalling aspect of candidacy is no particular hardship: the expectation is maybe write 300-500 words per fortnight. I'm trying to cut back, lol!! I've been picking up one aspect of a thing and mulling it over, rather than just taking a scatter-gun approach to talk about everything.
The thing I'm more bemused about is the 'reflecting on the reflecting' - writing a reflection on our journal reflections. It feels a little over the top, and I like journalling as a tool!!

liz said...

Mmmm. That does sound a bit OTT. Wonder what the rationale for that is?

Nik said...

Ahhh I blame Henri Nouwen's influence...!!! Never been a big fan of his but he's all we seem to get given from 121. Friend of mine about to go off to Enquirer's Conf. was laughing at the list of suggested books - soooo much Nouwen, so little else. He was fine in the 70's but we have moved on. Bless him tho' just wished he could have stopped being so tortured and just come out of the closet. The navel-lint victim approach gets tiring.
Aaaaand you now see how wonderful my skills in pastoral care!!!

liz said...

Hey, Nik, refreshing as ever. Just say it like it is why doncha!:)

Nik said...

Ahhh, it's that Aussie thang, mate! But seriously, I think the folks sorting out our training do a great job - given they sometimes have a very difficult job with all of us 'A' type personalities!!! I'm not complaining at all - I'm genuinely impressed that they continue to try to develop the training and aren't afraid to chuck stuff/ re-jig stuff if it seems not to have been working.
And more importantly, I've always felt listened to when I've had a question or comment.

Danny said...

I shall never look at Nouwen in the same way again (i.e. without laughing)...

I did a PG counselling certificate the same year I was enquiring for ministry and I kept a 'joint' journal tracking the journey. The last exercise for the counselling course was to produce a summary of our reflective journal to help us review our learning and growth over the was an interesting experience to reflect on the reflection! (and in my case a lengthly process as like Nik I always have a lot to say for myself lol)

Anonymous said...

I got the journalling/reflecting habit on the way to selection. The best thing is looking back at journals from 10 years ago and suddenly recognising answered prayers (which I would have forgotton) and the economy of God.
PS. thanks you 3 for your blogs. Makes the journey less lonely.

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