Tag Archives: Jobs

Life is good :D

In the last week, three very cool things have happened to me: 

1) My PhD thesis is now handed in, and I have a copy on my shelf to cheer me up when I feel miserable. 

2) I will be moving to Milton Keynes in roughly four weeks to start my new job as a Credit Risk Analyst for a high-street bank. They seem lovely to work for and I think I’ll be happy there. 

3) I am now engaged. I got down on one knee and asked TractorGirl if she would do me the honour of being her civil partner, and she said yes. It’s the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done – makes a PhD viva seem trivial! 

My remaining time in Durham will be a bit mad. This Thursday and Friday I’m dragging TractorGirl down south to help me flat hunt, which will be great because I’ve found student houses by word of mouth and have never had to deal with a letting agent before. It seems like there is a never-ending list of things to do, but it will be worth it 🙂 

The engagement ring being all shiny!

 

My PhD thesis!

Happy news :)

Just a brief note, as the library shuts in a few minutes!

Yesterday, I was given the go-ahead to get my PhD thesis printed. On Monday, when I get back from the short break in London I’m about to take with Tractorgirl, I’ll be able to hold the finished thing in my hands. It’s a bit hard to process, but I’m really looking forward to that.

At the same time, I’ve been offered a job with a bank down in Milton Keynes doing Credit Risk Analysis. I had a really good interview for a similar role with another bank today in Leeds. If the second makes me an offer, it’ll be a tough decision. Both seemed really nice to work for and the jobs would be stimulating and worthwhile. I can’t deny that it’s great to know I’ll be somewhat nearer to TractorGirl either way, and not be sent to work away from home for long periods.

I may have bugger-all money, which is still an issue, but I am one of the luckiest TOHs ever. I will have a good job, I’ve finished my thesis, I have a wonderful partner (watch this space for news on that front… ), a loving family and great friends. God is very good today 🙂

Grey night of the soul

There has been a lot of change in my life of late. In the last few months:

  • I have submitted my PhD and am waiting for the viva (and working hard to prepare, honest!)
  • I have left the C of E ordination process (which I’m pleased about)
  • I’ve done some serious re-thinking of career plans
  • I could well have joint Anglican-Methodist membership soon

On top of that, I don’t know what I’ll be doing, where I’ll be (in particular in relation to TractorGirl) and maybe how I’ll put food on the table (though that is almost certainly me panicking) in a few weeks’ time.

All this and a conversation today with a friend on a similar topic has got me thinking. Where is God in all of this change? I suppose because I’d been thinking about ordination for so long (and still feel a deep sense of call, though am glad to be out of the process) it’s shaped how I see and understand my faith. Now that’s not on the agenda, how do I tell my story, and what is God doing? I must admit as well to a deep sense of boredom with a lot of church stuff, which feels increasingly pointless, and a degree of apathy about prayer. When you’ve prayed for guidance, made a real effort to listen to God, prayed about and discussed it through with others who’ve encouraged you to follow a given path, you think you have some idea of what God wants. The failure of that has left me wondering just what my faith is about and the point of prayer.

It taps into a major theological issue I really struggle with anyway – in what sense can we speak of God’s action in the world? To hear some people talk, God micro-manages their lives. I can see that it can be comforting to believe that God is in charge, and I’m not knocking anyone who has a really deep sense of that, but I can’t help but ask about the problems God seems incapable of resolving. On the other hand, belief in a distant God who just stands back (like the Deism of Locke, for instance, or the only sort of ‘God’ Dawkins can deal with) is just not the Christian God. A solid doctrine of creation tells us that God is moment by moment creating, sustaining and redeeming the world, so that if his attention lapsed for a moment, there wouldn’t be a creation. Moreover, God’s desire for that creation is to have life in all its fullness, which is why he sent Jesus. Grace is a constant reaching out to what is not God in love to draw it into the life, the very heart, of the Trinity (think Rublev’s ikon) which is made possible through salvation history culminating in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

I know the various answers such as the free-will defence and the need for the creation to be free and open to risk in order to have any integrity. I like Rowan Williams‘ idea of a sort of ‘membrane’ between us and God that can be thinned out by prayer, a holy life, a combination of events, so something new can break through. I’d use this sort of reasoning to reconcile the resurrection with science – a deeper level of reality, of truth (indeed truth his very self) has broken through. But, however satisfying such explanations might be intellectually, they don’t cut it emotionally. I know some (one person in particular) would find it hard to accept that more than rationality is needed, but we are inherently emotional beings (indeed, there is evidence that without emotions, we find it nigh on impossible to put decisions into action – such is the case with some folks with brain damage) and if God takes all we are seriously, the emotions matter to him as well as our ideas.

Last night, at the Cathedral, I went to a service for the Venerable Bede’s saint day, and found the sermon very moving. It’s the most down-to-earth thing I’ve heard for ages, and I wanted to give the preacher a big hug. God felt present in that service in such a powerful way. I can’t say I’m experiencing a sort of dark night of the soul, because God is there, but nor can I say that last night is the norm and keeping faith feels like a real effort, though I’d never abandon it because I really do believe Christ is risen. That’s why I’d call it a ‘grey night’ of the soul; I need a re-think about what is at the heart of my faith. Applying for jobs has shown me that use of my gifts to serve others has to be at the heart of career choices, but the rest is all a bit vague…