I've been looking into Orthodoxy for about a year or so now but have yet to formally become a catechumen. I think the main reason is that I see being a catechumen as an "engagement" and I take it pretty seriously. I've been attending an Orthodox Church for about 8 months, but it only meets once a month. I've also attended services whenever I could when traveling. Also, for almost a year I've corresponded via email and phone with a priest in the States who's been very helpful. I've been reading lots of books, trying to say my morning and evening prayers, I've been trying to keep the fasts (and often failing), I've set up my icon corner. I really have been trying to embrace Orthodoxy and learn, I suppose my hesitancy is just the issue of commitment.
This past Christmas when I was at home I visited twice the church of the priest who I've been corresponding with. The second time when I went up for the veneration of the Gospels he asked me, "Have you been made a catechumen yet?" I told him no and he said, "Would you like to be?" I apologized and said I'd like to talk to him some more about it first. My priest here in Japan also has told me to take things slowly. But after a year, I do want to take things to a higher level of commitment. Among my friends I'm already known as the "Orthodox guy" and I do self-identify with that even though I try to honestly explain to people that I'm not officially and formally Orthodox yet.
Inspite of my real desire to take things to the next step (i.e. becoming a catechumen), I'm still somewhat hesitant because I don't want to quit halfway through. I still have questions about so much and there's still so much I don't know or understand. I know part of the catechumen process is learning. In my mind, I want to become a catechumen when I really am ready to be baptized into the Orthodox Church. Yet, at that point I would want to have no real questions- which raises the question of what would be the purpose of a catechumenate then? I just take very seriously joining the Orthodox Church and I fear that I may have a crisis of faith- a "I wish I'd thought of that/learned that/asked this question before I joined the Orthodox Church" moment.
I fully intend to talk to the priest in the States who has become a sort of de facto spiritual father to me about this, but what advice might you all have?
Thank you and please pray for me!