As acting principal during Dr. Visscher’s sabbatical, Dr. Van Vliet is the one who makes the all-important, and much-anticipated, call to cancel school in the case of inclement weather. So far, despite the fact that it’s been the worst winter in 35 years here in Hamilton, Dr. Van Vliet has stared down Old Man Winter with the authority that only a beard and a sophisticated doctrinal imagination can give. So, not unlike Gandalf. Only, instead of “You shall not pass!” Dr. Van Vliet has boomed the converse to his little Ford Focus, which so far has obeyed and traversed all the obstructing winter treachery.
But that brave tale was not to go on interrupted, for like his flaming counterpart this white terror has a long whip of his own. And somehow, from behind the warmth, sunshine, dripping roofs, and happy birds, that arctic lash came crashing from the void, and here I am at home, wasting time, school canceled. It’s a fine time for a pause, too, with a number of projects on the go but nothing really pressing.
One thing I will be working on is my pre-confession lesson for Monday night. As part of the pastoral training program here at CRTS, we are required to teach a minimum of four classes of catechism during our second year. I will be teaching classes in Dunnville, under the tutelage of Rev. Vanwoudenberg. I taught my first class last week Monday, and the next will be next week Monday. They are working through the Belgic Confession, so I taught Article 32 last time, and we’ll be moving into the sacraments come Monday.
I’m also writing a Church History research essay on the importance of the White Horse Inn to the Reformation. If things like pipe smoke, fireplaces, oak tables, steaming meat pies, and raucous debates about Reformed theology don’t gladden your heart, then not only are you a stranger to me, but you won’t much like my paper, either.
And finally, of course, distracting me from all that, is the ongoing mystery of flight MH370. I’ve been following it pretty closely, analyzing it from my profoundly uneducated point of view, one of millions who can’t help but be intrigued by this tragedy. One of the most sensible things that I’ve heard, apart from the plane entering a time warp to the sixteenth century, is that the real problem here is the sensitive political situation in the region. Most likely a number of countries in the region traced the plane on their military radar, but if they were to release this data they would be revealing their radar capabilities, which would also include its limits. The suggestion, then, is that while there is enough info out there to find the plane, that info is being held back. Anyways, the families who are in the thick of this must be exhausted by it all, by the grief, the frustration, the unknowns. We would do well to ask the Lord to reveal himself to them, that this grief and reaching for answers might drive them to the saving truth of the gospel; that in all this, as the weakness and limits of human nature become more apparent, the God who answers may bring himself the glory he deserves.