Aspirant. My son is an aspirant.
What, you might well ask, is that.
Well, I will tell you, and I should do so with fair warning that this may well begin a series of blogs about this subject. Because its a lot for us all to process, not the least of which is me. And you all know well that I process through blogging.
But I digress.
Anyhow. My son is an Aspirant.
That is what it is called when your son is seriously considering life as a religious, with an order. In this case, the Dominican order.
It’s the step before the formal application, sort of an understood verbal or written “notice of intent;” which means he’s let them know he is seriously considering this and they said “Good news!”.
Now that may seem huge to you. Or maybe not. But if you knew my son, you would know that he does not make decisions, any decisions, lightly….not even ordering a chicken sandwich. So when he called them up and said he’d like to be considered an aspirant…..he might have well as jumped off the cliffs like the divers in Mexico. So it feels like a big darn deal to him. And it is. It does to us too.
Oddly, and on an inconsequential aside, we all keep getting hung up on the pronunciation: “aspire- rant” “as per ant?”. Ok, maybe its just me. The vocations director says it as “aspire-ant”. I suppose this most apt. But my years of reading too many books tells me I should pronounce it like “asper-ant”. Though one of my girlfriends tells me that pronunciation reminds her of someone who has aspirated something and is choking to death.
Maybe that’s not the image we are going for.
With that visual I suppose the vocation directors version is better, eh?
I suspect my hesitancy with the speaking of this word reflects the hesitancy of this new thing in our lives. In my sons life.
And yet, even so, its not hesitant at all, really.
I know in my very bones and deepest corners of my soul that he is made for this. Indeed, I know and believe he was made for this, from the beginning.
I think I knew it before he did.
But maybe all moms say that.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Or him.
That running ahead is part of the difficulty with all this. He has to discern slowly, listening and praying and listening some more to hear the will of God.
Sounds like a tall order, no?
I mean, we aren’t talking audible voices, or voice, like the classic Bill Cosby routine about Noah. Although come to think of it, listening to that routine on the radio on long car drives unfailingly made my sons just fall over laughing. Maybe I should’ve taken note? Anyhow, the point is that this discerning thing is a tender nurturing thing.
It’s his call.
Oh, so literally. It is his call.
And while I could see it coming, yeah, a long way off and his dad and I saw it sooner than he did….its still his to discover, unwrap and examine with wonder. And he is.
If you want to know what its like…well obviously I can only say what I see. But…on his part, in some ways, it seems its kinda like falling in love. I see that same rush of wonder and excitement and quiet marveling wow. His eyes sparkle and his words spill over as he describes what’s “so cool” about this or that. It makes me grin to sit and listen to him.
So. For now, his dad and I watch and listen and pray for our son as he prayerfully considers and discerns Gods call. If you’ve a mind to, please pray for my boy. And maybe throw one or two prayers our way too as his dad and I look ahead to this special road, filled with different challenges and joys and very big adjustments for us all.
* Note: this post is not precisely real time. I wrote it months ago. But only have permission, now, from Chris to post it. And so I will, a short series perhaps, about a rather unique process and time in all of our lives. *