It is that time of year again. For many seminaries, this will be the first week of classes. It is an exciting time for most. For some of you, this will be the first time you step into a seminary classroom. I remember my first class like it was just… six months ago. So, I thought this morning, in honor of the start of a new semester, I’d share some advice.
For First Timers
For all you guys and gals who are just starting out, have a great time. Seminary has its challenges, but keep your eyes on Jesus and it will be amazing (not easy… but amazing). You might meet a few seminarians who want to rain on your parade with the “realities” of seminary… for now, just ignore them. You’ll experience the realities yourself. For now, just soak it all in. Have fun. After my first semester I remember sitting in a chair, talking to a friend and saying, “It was all I hoped it would be and more.” I hope that is what you say at the end of your semester.
For others of us, the start of a new semester is just one more notch on the belt. For all of you, same advice as above. Keep your eyes on Jesus. It is easy in seminary to grow weary and fall into the rut of simply going through the motions. My advice, find one of those bright-eyed newbies and instead of crushing their joy with the harsh reality of exams, papers, and stress, why not just sit down and be reminded of why you came to seminary as you listen to the passion they have for the journey ahead. Don’t be cynical… try to rekindle some of that zeal. End by praying for these new students.
Finally, there are some of you where this semester represents the final leg of your seminary journey. The finish line is in sight. For you, same advice… keep your eyes on Jesus. Yes, you’re almost there. You might be worried about finding a job when you’re finished this semester. You might be just trying to cruise through this semester so that you can finally hold that piece of paper that says you did it. You might be thinking about the next school you’re off to. Whatever the case, don’t forget what all this is about. It is about knowing Jesus and being transformed more into his image. Take a moment and remind yourself why you’ve gone through seminary… why you invest all that time and money. Maybe you need to sit down with one of those new students as well…
These are just a few thoughts that crossed my mind this morning. As for me, well friends, this weekend I made the decision that I will be sitting this round out. As I’ve mentioned before, things aren’t going as planned around here. I’ve decided that I’ll take one class that meets on Tuesday nights and I’ll try to get a job-e-job. My advice for me… keep your eyes on Jesus…