unusual...

I’m now ordained. I’m an ordinant. The man who prayed over me last night asked for God to fill me with an “unusual” unction of the Holy Spirit. I thought that was an interesting request. But I kind of liked it.

I never thought of praying for God to do something unusual. There aren’t any worship songs with that word in it. There aren’t any prayers I’ve prayed or heard in my lifetime that ask for such a thing. I wonder what an unusual filling of the Spirit would be as opposed to a usual one? Don’t get me wrong, I’ll take an unusual one any day of the week over a usual one, but what would that flesh out to look like if it actually happened today?

I didn’t feel anything last night when they laid hands on me. I was waiting for a sensation and the only sensation I felt was the aching of my knees on the prayer bench. I was waiting for a stirring in my bosom and all I felt was the growling of my stomach anticipating dinner to follow the pomp and circumstance. I was waiting for a special surge of strength, an increasing of passion, an awakening of untapped gifts…but the most prominent feeling was one of awkwardness. I was kneeling in front of a huge Bible that was to be given to me and it was engraved with the title “Reverend Jason Holdridge” (in golden letters). That seemed quite strange. There is something so odd about being titled with a word like that. I kept looking at the Bible waiting for the word Reverend to change to Retarded. That seems more fitting…more descriptive of my life from moment to moment. I have so much inside of me, but there is a retardation of those gifts on most days…a sluggishness about them, a stubbornness about them. I’m not reverential in stature. I’m not revered by those that know me well. I’m not a reverend at heart.

In the weekend services, our church celebrated this achievement with stories and videos and personal gestures of honor. It was special; it was sarcastic; it was sacred; it was storied. In those services, there was laughter and tears; high fives and hugs; worship and friendship; family and friends; candor and candidness…it was personal, it was real…it was unusual.

And the unusualness of the weekend made the usualness of the ordination ceremony seem sterile and stoic; scripted and stripped of meaning. Don’t get me wrong, I feel honored that so many people invested so much into that night to organize the program. I felt most honored that my friends from the Impact community joined as witnesses of this occasion. I felt privileged to have Mark pray over me with such a powerful charge. But in the end…it was the usual flavor that reminded me of my past that made it difficult to enjoy. The music, the mega church, the suits and ties, the lack of laughter, the funeral-like hush of the prelude, the order and protocol, the parroting back of commitments, the standing and sitting…all these things remind me of something usual…something you’d expect at a Christian gathering.

Which takes me back to the prayer of the man (some Representative of the Denomination) who laid his hand on my head and messed up my hair… “I pray for the unusual presence of the Holy Spirit to fill…” That is something that I want. If my ordination means anything at all…I want it to mean that. I want it to awaken that. I want it to fan that into flame. If ordination doesn’t bring that…it was an empty exercise and is to be celebrated as such. But if I’m endowed with an unction of the unusual, well then, it was worth getting dressed up for. I wish they would have engraved “Unusual Jason Holdridge” on my Bible instead. I think I can live up to that.

Comments

Jim said…
Now you know what my dinner was like the other night.

Jim
Jim said…
And why I didn't like it.
ShepherdRick said…
Congrats, Jason!

I pray that the ordination will serve as a "stone of remembrance" along the journey God has designed for you ... and that the prayer of committment made over you will prove true ... an UNUSUAL filling and empowering ... and an UNUSUAL purpose and plan.

Although Marilyn and I could not be with you at the service, our hearts are with you! Please keep us "in the loop" of how God directs your heart!
pianoman said…
man... i'm speechless...

it's the little details you add that make your storytelling all the more powerful...

"...the man who laid his hand on my head and messed up my hair..."

and in that one sentence your entire blog knocks me over

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