I finished the paper, although it involved some questionable sleep patterns, and I am still paying the consequences in my newfound difficulty waking up in the morning. But yay! It’s done. And I felt pretty good about it (the “picture on the puzzle box” achieved!), though, as I said in my last blog entry, this may not actually mean much in terms of quality.
Now that that’s over, I must say, I’m loving school. I loved school even today, though it was Monday, and I had an 8:00 AM class. I had Systematic Theology. I wasn’t particularly looking forward to this class before the semester started; it conjured up ideas of serious information overload, a dry, boring progression through a series of things we think we understand but probably don’t. I mean, it’s the study of God. We’ve can’t really hope to systematize it. Anyway, as I said, I love it. Mostly because of my prof, John Stackhouse. He’s the wittiest, most hilarious, humblest and most humorously self-deprecating prof I’ve had, yet he’s really wise about everything theological, he explains it all clearly and answers questions brilliantly. He’s committed to making the class very practical, so we can actually discuss these issues with our friends, Christian and non-Christian. This morning we spent three hours on the phrase “Let us make mankind in our own image” from Genesis 1. This could initially sound like a nightmare, but in reality, it set my mind on fire (in a good way), as we debated whether or not there are Trinitarian implications, talked about the annoying generality or plasticity of the “image of God” concept today, and whether it’s more about “being” or “doing”. He made connections with bioethics, end times issues, and environmental issues along the way, each one leaving my mind reeling, trying to follow how these conclusions influenced my understanding of the rest of life (especially the biology part!). I never thought theology would be so thrilling. Maybe I’m just a big geek. Or Stackhouse is just that good. Check his blog out if you have time: http://stackblog.wordpress.com.
The biggest development in my life in the past week has been the sudden need for money. No, I’m not looking to make any major purchases, other than groceries. What happened was that I had a misunderstanding regarding a scholarship that I thought was renewable every semester, but is not, because I am an MCS student, not an MDiv student… which really makes me frustrated, but I’ll talk about that another time. What’s important now is that I need $1000 to pay for rent and groceries this semester, and a plane ticket home. This is (thank God) the first time I’ve had to trust God this way. And him and I have had some good conversations since the initial disturbing revelation; I’m feeling much better about where he might be leading me in all of this, especially if it involves working, which it most likely will, unless an anonymous donor leaves a $1000 cheque in my mailbox or a money tree grows in my backyard. Work would be ok, though - since I started at Regent, part of me has really regretted not getting to spend more time outside Christian circles, where a lot of what I’m learning can be lived out. And every once in a while I long for the chance to be productive in ways other than reading books and writing papers.
One of the confusing things about this process so far is what it means to really trust God in a situation like this. I don’t want to just take over and “make it work”, just take control and find a job. I want to give God the room to lead me, even to do something surprising if he wants to. It’s hard to know what to start doing and how soon. Last week I let people know about my dilemma, waiting to see if anyone knew of a job opening. This week I’m starting to look, but still trying to let God lead the process. This is trickier than I thought. I keep wanting to grab at anything I see, for security, instead of prayerfully considering where I should be. I need the right balance of patience and action.
Grounds for Coffee, a coffee shop 9 blocks away, better known for its world’s best cinnamon buns (they really are the best!) seems to be desperately seeking help, according to one of the employees. Perhaps God has some interesting irony up his sleeves in assigning Beth - the girl who messes up recipes for such complicated dishes as wieners and beans and fried rice, who doesn’t currently have an oven in her house, and who dislikes coffee - the job of making coffee and baking the world’s best cinnamon buns. I wouldn’t put it past God.
Pray for me – not only that I’ll find the right job, but also for wisdom in organizing life after I have a job, that I’d still be able to find time for schoolwork, relationships, creativity and breathing. I will keep you updated.