In an effort to prepare myself for the service itself, I have been thinking about the significance of any lifetime vow. We don’t take many. I can think of three so far: my marriage, my ordination, and, in a different way, my baptism, which I don’t remember but which I routinely renew. Next Saturday will be my fourth, and probably my last.
It is a strange thing to commit oneself to anything or anyone for the rest of one’s life! How could I possibly know what the future holds? Thankfully I am at least a little better prepared for this one than I was for my wedding! Still, it is daunting when I think of what I am about to do.
Every vow, and particularly every lifetime vow, is a leap of faith. Partly it requires faith in the future. I assume I will continue to face new challenges. But I am committing myself to facing those challenges in a way that is consistent with the Franciscan values that I currently hold.
Partly it requires faith in myself. I am committing myself to a Franciscan form of the Christian life in the hope that I can stick to this path and the belief that, in following this path, I will approach a little nearer to being the person God calls me to be.
Most of all, it requires faith in God, whose grace and love have sustained me so far and whose grace and love I am counting on to sustain me into the future.
I am reasonably comfortable making those leaps of faith. But I do not want to take this step casually or over-confidently. This is one of those places where a little fear seems healthy!! God be with me as I prepare to profess!!