I was up at 6 this morning, determined to start my seminary experience on the right foot. I read my Bible, ate breakfast with Arenda and James, and even read James some books. I got my lunch made, packed the bag, everything was ready to go. However, it is simply the way of things that as I’m walking out the door, I remember everything I hadn’t realized I’d forgotten. They hit me like buckshot, all at once. Seminary door code! Upstairs on the desk. Sunglasses from the car! They aren’t there. They’re inside on the kitchen counter right where I left them. Textbook! Back upstairs to the desk. Five minutes into my walk I realized I’d forgotten my Book of Praise and Bible, but then it was too late. By that time it was 8:35 or so, and chapel was scheduled to start at 8:50. No time to turn back if I wanted to be on time.
So I’m walking at a good clip, not wanting to be late. I come down the Upper Paradise hill, looking to see fellow freshmen Iwan, David, and Jon, whom I’d seen walking across the intersection at the bottom yesterday. I don’t see them. I turn the corner onto Sanatorium, then onto West 28th, and I still don’t see them. I can see all the way up the road to the college now, and I can’t see anyone walking. There’s no one driving into the seminary parking lot, either. Suddenly, a very tiny thought comes to mind. Had someone mentioned an 8:30 chapel yesterday at Orientation Day? Shoot. I think so. I walk faster, but what’s the point? There’s little difference between twenty and twenty-two minutes late.
Chapel was already on the downswing as I walked in and found an open seat in the front row. I wasn’t entirely sure what would happen to me. It was the first day of classes, I was a new guy, and I was very late. They hadn’t mentioned stocks on Orientation Day, but why would they? Would I have to do jumping jacks? Would I be put to menial labour? Worse yet, would they make me play the organ?
My fears were allayed. Dr. Visscher simply welcomed me after the prayer, and suggested that maybe I hadn’t received the memo regarding the 8:30 Tuesday morning chapel? Turns out that Tuesday morning chapels always start at 8:30. Good to know.