Hello May. And readers.
It has been nearly a month and much has been accomplished. For one, I graduated from seminary. I am now a Master of Divinity. Given the name of the degree I had high expectations, but contrary to those expectations, I was not conferred with any special powers. I’m hoping that they’ll be given when I receive my diploma after they’ve confirmed that all of the degree requirements have been met.
It’s a bit surreal that it’s all done now. Three years gone just like that. I’m not quite sure what to do with myself now that I have nothing pressing to do.
I was one of four people nominated for Valedictorian. At that point I was not interested in writing a speech on top of all the other things I had to do before the end of the semester. I was quite relieved when the graduating class nominated one of the other four to be the Valedictorian.
The other three nominees were asked to talk about their seminary at the grad banquet for 3-4 minutes experience. I figured I’d think something up during the banquet and scribble it on a napkin. Then last year’s Valedictorian told me that her speech was only 5 minutes long! Suddenly those 3-4 minutes of sharing seemed like a much bigger deal. Mild panic. But all went well.
It was a relatively relaxed weekend. Festivities were done by noon on Saturday (then college festivities began). Which meant the rest of Saturday and Sunday with my mom, my brother, and the Otterburne Vandersluyses (Dixie’s parents unfortunately could not come because of health problems).
Here’s a picture of me in my cap and gown after the grad ceremony (taken on my brother’s iPhone):
And then some other stuff I’ll tell you about some other time…
It is slowly dawning on me that (at the time of writing) graduation is about five weeks away. This is both an exciting and a terrifying prospect. Exciting because I’ll be done with research papers and I’ll be able to do guilt-free pleasure reading. Terrifying because this is where the real leap of faith happens, entering the “real world” once again. Terrifying also because there is so much left to do in these next five weeks. In no particular order:
- Write and present an exegetical paper on 1 Peter 4:12-13.
- Read 2 books and write three short critiques (there’s a third book I just finished reading).
- Research and write a 20-page paper on the relationship between God’s wrath and God’s love in Romans 5:1-11 (my topic choice).
- Write a sermon (Matthew 22:1-14 – the parable of the wedding banquet).
- Co-plan and co-lead Good Friday service at our church.
- Write and present another exegetical paper on another couple of verses from 1 Peter.
- Write a philosophy of ministry
- Write a summary of a workshop I attended at the Church Planting Congress in Winnipeg last November, including a 3-page bibliography of resources for further study on the subject.
- Write a final translation exam on 1 Peter.
- Prepare 3 special services (for a class on Pastoral Theology): wedding, funeral, and baby dedication.
- Various smaller weekly assignments.
I oscillate between despair and hopefulness, between feeling like it’s doable and feeling like it’s not. When I reflect on the smaller assignments, most of which will not be difficult or particularly time consuming, I am hopeful. When I consider the 20-page paper in particular, I am filled with a certain level of dread. I’m just thankful that I’m interested in my topic, which is a rare occurrence.
Onwards and upwards! Up and at them!