This is the point in every semester where those large, puffy, white clouds on the horizon, once pretty and pleasant, have now morphed into a post-tropical storm and are about to make landfall. This isn’t unique to seminary. I reached this stage during every semester at university and it never seems to lose its class-five-rapids-ahead-and-you’re-on-an-air-mattress sort of feel. On Friday we’ve got our first Heidelberg Catechism test. It’ll be on Lord’s Days 1-31. If I remember correctly, the way that the test is structured is that there will be a section with a list of eight or so, from which we have to write out five or six, word for word; there will be a section in which Dr. Van Vliet will mention a topic and we have to mention the Lord’s Day, or vice versa; and there will be a section in which we are given a pastoral situation and we have to choose the Lord’s Day that would best apply and then explain how we would apply it. I have been studying six days a week since school began for this test, and yes, I’m nervous.
Next week I’ve got an Old Testament Textual Criticism assignment due, but this one isn’t very big. Still, I’ve never done anything like it before so it may prove to be more work than I anticipate. Then either that Friday (the 16th), or the following Monday, I have to do my chapel. What happens in chapel is that the students and faculty get together, and one student leads. A song of his choice is sung, he speaks for 15-20 minutes on a Bible passage or some other reflective material, prays, and one final song of his choice is sung. I won’t get marked for that, but, seeing as it’s my first chapel, I’d like to do a decent job. Pulling off a comedy routine of lame seminary jokes like, “You never put Descartes before de horse!” won’t cut it. On the 23rd I’ve got my Symbolics research paper due, and I’ve not even formed the skeleton for that one yet. That’s a heap of work staring at me. On the other hand, I handed in a Philosophy paper this week, which is one assignment out of the way. It was a paper I wrote that included a summary of our textbook’s chapter on Thomas Aquinas, followed by my own thoughts on the usefulness of his philosophy for the Church. If my mark is decent I may post a link to it on here.
Much, then, remains to be done. Yet to be delving into the mysteries of God’s Word every day, and to be exploring in detail his faithfulness to his Bride throughout history, is a profound privilege. That perspective has not diminished in any way as the workload intensifies. It’s the most fulfilling sort of work that I could imagine doing, and every day brings new insights.
If you’re curious about what my personality type is, I’m an Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, and Judging sort of man. An INTJ. Everyone who guessed pegged me as something else, although Tanya kept her foot in the right door. Arenda found a piece on the Huffington Post website (no, we aren’t normally Huffington Post people, in case you were worried) that gave examples from literature of each of the sixteen personality types. I have the honour of sharing the same personality type as Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. When she read that, Arenda saw me through new eyes and fell a great deal deeper in love with me. To be honest, I find the personality type business somewhat horoscopish; I’m not entirely sure what to think. The ISTP that the commenters in the previous post guessed that I was isn’t too far from the truth either, in my opinion, but the test had me as a clear “J,” not a “P,” as in 18 points for J, and 4 for P. So apparently I’m clearly not the type of person that my parents and in-laws think I am, whatever that means.