Vacations are a very good thing. We managed to slip one in this past week, rather serendipitously, thanks to a lot of gifts and coincidences and such that meant we really didn't have to pay for that much of it. Some, mind you, but by no means the usual financial commitment required for a full vacation. I am refreshed, perhaps even more so than usual; the crowds at Disney World didn't even turn annoying until the last night of our stay.
But vacations, as do all good things, come to an end, and indeed it's time to wind up and start again. The spring term begins tomorrow, and I've given myself a real cracker of a schedule. Three full classes on Mondays. All the worst stereotypes about that day of the week will be the essence of my schedule from now to late April or early May. For all that, though, no classes on Friday. Scheduling is odd around here in some ways. But I shall survive.
Even as the new term starts I'm still processing things learned and encountered in previous terms. There was an earlier entry that touched on my experience in Celtic Christianity, as a January course; I'm still trying to sort out what significance that may have, even as some writers seem to suggest that the whole phenomenon may have run its course. Theology, New Testament, and History of Christianity, parts two, await me tomorrow and for the next three months. I just hope I haven't forgotten anything crucial from parts one of those courses. I also have a small course called Spiritual Formation, which promises to be different from the rest of the schedule at least, as well as the seminary choir which provides some small link to my musical days.
Even with a language school, full term, and short term completed, I still feel a bit rookie-ish at this whole M.Div. business. For all I know I may feel that way even up to and beyond graduation. But I suppose I am starting to get a grip on what I need to look for going forward. Internships are still some distance in the future, but I may be starting to begin to figure out, at least a little bit, what I might need to do in that process. I'm only partly clueless, you might say, as opposed to my prior condition of being completely clueless.
We've been able to visit a few more churches, which has been a rather illuminating experience. Slowly we are adding more contacts in the area, acquaintances who might turn out to be friends. Slowly we are figuring out what's what in this area.
The future, as usual, looks partly cloudy to those with eyes to see. No one ever passes up a chance to point out that the denomination has way more ministers and potential ministers than it does churches (perhaps even to a greater degree than my former discipline of musicology, the imbalance is severe between qualified candidates and employment opportunities), and of course churches will be hemorrhaging away to the latest splinter group of Presbyterians (discussed in the last quickie post) and reducing the field even more. Ah, well, uncertainly is hardly new in my life.
There's really nothing new or earth-shaking to say at the moment, but starting up a new term prompts some taking stock in where things stand. I am going forward, even if the way ahead remains hazy sometimes. And still, perhaps with less euphoria but more depth, I know myself to be in the right place and doing the right thing. And this is good.