Well I’m still not certain about the whole “I might have a major medical issue” (see last post) but I figure since I’ve received no calls or anything by mail I must be doing OK.
I did however received an email from my recruiter yesterday with ticket information for my travel arrangements for the May 11th CARE board in Washington DC. Without getting too terribly detailed I leave early Monday morning and arrive two hours later at O’Hare… That’s right O’Hare is in Chicago. (I love sightseeing) I then have a 4 hour layover and fly from there to DC. The trip back is even nicer. DC to Detroit (but I live in Orlando) on to Charlotte (no no I live in Orlando) before arriving in Orlando.
The beautiful thing about all of this is that it is all expenses paid and you can’t say no thanks I’ll find my own way (no I mean that – you really can’t say no – it is written on the itinerary). So instead of flying a rather boring straight short flight from Orlando to DC (on a cheaper carrier) at a mere fraction of the cost I get to tour the Eastern U.S. on your dime. Yay!
So back to the CARE Board, which is the final interview for an applicant seeking a commission as a Navy Chaplain. Up to this point I’ve had both my O-4 interviews (actually they were both 0-5, moot point, but credit where credit is due) and from what I could take away they went really well – both said as much.
Here a short list of some (not all) of the questions to give you some insight into the challenges faced by someone ministering in a multi-faith environment.
- Tell me about your conversion and call to chaplaincy.
- Tell me about your strengths/gifts.
- Tell me about your weaknesses.
- Tell me how you think chaplaincy will help you in your weaknesses.
- Tell me about your family.
- How does your wife feel about chaplaincy/deployments?
- How do you feel about serving under a woman?
- How do you feel about serving with other faiths?
- How would you council a couple that has no faith basis (IE not Christian)?
Regardless of where you happen to come down on one issue or another (short of accepting all views as equally valid) you will face major struggles with learning how to adapt your message and convictions to fit within the inclusive nature of the military without compromising the tenants of your faith. I threw that list of questions up there not to give you a bit by bit of my own convictions but more to warn and advise anyone considering this path, know your convictions and know your preferences and know the difference.
Welcome to Military Chaplaincy.
So anyway apart from facing some of those same question before a board of about 5 Command Chaplains (0-4 and above) I know little to nothing about the CARE board other then I have a 1 in 3 shot once I make it that far (roughly 180 men and women from various faith group apply each year -65 are accepted) Interviewing well is critical at this point in the game, as is looking the part. Point in fact, the goatee I’ve had for the past 7 years has now vanished. I have found the age defying solution for men, and it is to shave. I’m 14 again.
So here we wait; trusting on Him; relying on the seeds of hope planted almost 2 years ago and prayerfully seeking His will every step of the way. If you think about it, a silent pray lift for me and my family at around 9am on May 11th would be one of the greatest gifts we could ask for through this time in our lives. I ask only that you not pray for success or even that the interview would go well. I simply ask that you pray for His will.
Something along these line, for they remain the cry of my heart:
In this as in all things, Not I, but Christ. For to me, to live is Christ, to die gain.