Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Finding comfort in confirmation hearings

The other day as i was reading a news peice about Alito's confirmation hearings, i was struck with an unexpected emotion - relief.

Those of you who know me might be aware that i'm a candidate for ordination in my denomination this coming summer. The interviews will happen this spring if everything goes well. I've been rather apprehensive about this, because the process is pretty intimidating. A group of people (who in my particular case don't know me very well yet) will ask me a bunch of questions about my ministry, my walk with Christ, what i believe, and how i feel about my denomination's rules and structures. Then they decide if i should be ordained or not.

The process is completely legitimate, and i'm glad my denomination has these structures in place. But in some ways, i really am going to be judged: Am I really a good enough Christian to be trusted with this kind of responsibility? I haven't been through this process before, so i don't know what it will really be like, but my fear is that it could turn into some kind of inquisition.

But while i was reading that news report, it hit me that i'm not alone. Alito is getting grilled within an inch of his life. If they confirm him, they're giving him a permanent role that they can't take back, so they're doing everything they can to make sure they don't make a mistake. (In my denomination, ordination is also permanent.) This isn't just some hard-nosed thing churches do, it's just the nature of people who are preparing to give permanent authority to someone else.

I highly doubt my ordination board will be as hard on me as the Democrats are being on Alito. So i guess now he's become my inspiration. If he can survive the process, surely I can too.

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