“So Christian, how’s uh…how’s Seminary goin’ for yah?”
I’m fairly certain that—of late, this has been the most queried subject of people whenever (and wherever) I actually manage some form of communion or fellowship. Granted, while this is an entirely acceptable enquiry into my life at present—and is indeed far less awkward for me than the “How’s the coffee shop/job treatin’ yah?” it remains both a rhetorical question, and that which serves to remind me of just how challenging both the time and the place I’m in indeed is.
It’s an utterly rhetorical question by mere recognition of the dissimilarity between the “me that is now” and the “me which was” before I entered this period of life.
It’d be utterly rhetoric if that which the question implied was something which words could convey. Indeed even to me the depth of my response is lost in a foggy understanding of just where I’m at and what it’s entailing.
To plainly respond to the question, “How’s Seminary going?” with “it’s challenging,” seems to both capture it in its simplicity and do it a cruel disservice in understatement.
I’m in an environment where I not only don’t seem to fit in, but have no clear indication if this is purposeful to show me that I’m meant to be here, or meant not to. I’ve survived (by the grace of God and the skin of my teeth) through my first semester in which I’ve pulled all-nighters and had incredibly late nights (early mornings) to turn in work, papers, expressions of myself, my thoughts, my beliefs, all to which—by their very nature serve for no such actual self-expression. I’m not only isolated by a difference of beliefs, doctrines, core values and truths, but am further isolated by an inability to fully express them, by both difference and silence.
And again, this has no clear purpose to serve as a means of knowing I’m not to be here, or to remain here. For it’s not as if I’m seeing any difference in me being here, except perhaps—that is, in my being…here.
I serve as the bloke in class who asks really “thought provoking questions,” who “really gets me to think about things that I didn’t or wouldn’t have;” beneficial in class, but not out.
Each Monday I find myself walking with a smile on my face, striving to not be off putting, to be approachable, engaging (to the best that in my awkwardness I can), traveling campus looking like this:
(NOTE: the big bright smile, especially at the end. It should be clear that I do that.)
Yet the further absence of that which I desire, hope for, long for, only serves to have me walk (at least internally, I suppose) like this:
Who knows? I mean, conceivably things will be different come next semester. Perhaps they’ll change in the coming of core classes in which there will be more opportunity to express, to be known, to know, to bond, connect, witness. For now, hope seems all that there is to keep my sojourn (whether extensive or abbreviated) in perspective.
Hope that while the “Word” I speak oft does not “return to sender,” or may take quite longer than I wish to “return” (perhaps returning long after I’ve need of its encouragement), that “Word” will not return VOID.
Hope that what I long for, ache for, will be given; not by me, but for me.
Hope that although it’s been a while since I’ve been successful in managing my blog, I will become the type of man I wish to be who can balance all this: pressures, schooling, work, interactions, engagements, passions, professionalism, etc.
Hope in that time which will come when and where I’ll be not here.
Hope that there indeed IS a purpose for the now, the “such a time as this”:
in witnessing “friends” partake of a life which resembles that which I long for, but cannot ever attain
in struggling being where I’m at, yet not where I wish to be;
in being a voice in a wilderness which isn’t bereft of people, but of silence;
in learning to trust love to reveal itself to me in that special way which it created me to experience uniquely;
in allowing myself to love and to be loved;
to dream the impossible dream;
to fight the unbeatable foe;
to bear with unbearable sorrow;
to run where the brave dare not go;
to right the unrightable wrong;
to love pure and chaste from afar;
to try when your arms are too weary
to reach the unreachable star.
This is my quest to follow that star;
no matter how hopeless no matter how far;
to fight for the right without question or pause;
to be willing to march into Hell for a heavenly cause!
And I know if I’ll only be true to this glorious quest
that my heart will lie peaceful and calm when I’m laid to my rest.
And the world will be better for this
that one man, scorned and covered with scars
still strove with his last ounce of courage
to reach the unreachable star.
Meanwhile…I’m seeking a friend who connects, who believes in the same God I do (rather than one who is that which Seminary may present), who loves, who is loved, who seeks the mystery, who knows the mystery, and faithfully searches for understanding in the very same way I do—being of faith, but seeking understanding (not the other way around).
I’ll hope, and love, and be open for love.
I’ll continue to do that which helps me strive and persevere like watch and connect and feel and exhale and cry and laugh to things like this:
How is Seminary going?