As I stepped out of 70 Battery place this evening, into the rain, walking along side 3 other brothers — it hit me again, my first semester is over!
It was that thought that took root this evening as I headed home on the same 4 and Q train I’ve been taking in the late evening to get home from my classes at Alliance Theological Seminary(ATS) these past 4 months.
These 4 months went by so quickly, in fact my journey to seminary came by so quickly, it almost feels like it blind sided me. Starting with a dream I woke up from in late April of this year that prompted me to submit my online application, to a phone call a month and a half later that put me on the fast track to the fall semester at ATS. It all happened to fast that I can hardly believe it now.
With Christmas quickly approaching in a few days and the semester officially ending, I look back now at how blessed I’ve been. In the words of my fellow brother and seminarian, David, “boy, does it stretch you.” Looking back, it really has stretch me. Going to seminary was and still is a step of faith for me. I have no idea how my finances are going to iron out. Every month, when all my bills are paid and the dust settles — I’m more or less borderline red. If it wasn’t for the small blessings here and there of folks like my colleague, my brother, my extended family at church, my friends and my pastor — I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been able to get through this semester. It’s thanks to the small blessings that same in the form of prayer, encouragement and sometimes a favor that has really kept me going.
The stretching hasn’t just been to my finances and my blessings. It has also come in the form of growth, in both the word and as a person. This semester’s Old Testament classes has really given me a whole new view of the Old Testament and forged in me a love for it. I don’t think I’ve ever looked at the Old Testament the same way since taking Dr. Robertson’s OT classes. It’s also finally gotten me to establish a habit of reading the word everyday. So I’ve also become more disciplined also.
As a person, this journey to seminary and while in seminary has kept me on my toes constantly as to what I’m being called to do and the direction I ought to go. Much like my testimony(for those that have heard it) when I came to accept, God’s revelation of himself to me comes in the form of constant reappearance of a question and answer. The same question and answer that I ask myself all the time, except it comes from others. What do you plan to accomplish by going to seminary? What do you want to do with what you learn? Early on, when my journey began, I wasn’t too sure. I just knew God put it in my heart to go to seminary and I wanted to follow/obey. I still don’t know, but I have a better idea. Throughout the semester different people asked me the question and each time I answered it, I did so in a vague non-committal fashion. Always saying, I’m just preparing for something in ministry, not sure what it is. Eventually, that answer became I’m pretty sure it’ll be in ministry, just unsure of what it’ll be. Now it’s come to the point where I’m pretty I’ll become a pastor of some sort..not sure of what sort. Who would have known huh? I sure as heck didn’t, but as I went through seminary and I had the opportunity to try out different skills and test myself in different aspects of ministry, I come to realize — my gifts point that direction, the things I enjoy doing — point that direction. I suppose now, it’s only a matter of time before I can say it confidently, but who knows. I’ve only started this journey of faith..there’s much more ahead — but I will keep walking.
This coming new year will bring with it many changes, praying that God is at work the whole way. Sustain, empower, and guide us Lord.
My desk at the end of the semester..tons of reading, resources, references and bibles.