As I approach graduation from seminary, I’d like to write a series of posts recounting some of the challenges I’ve faced over the past eight and a half years. Yes, it’s taken me that long to finish my M.Div., and yes, I am so…done. But I wouldn’t trade the time I’ve been given to soak up my classes for anything.
A little background to the series…
I came to seminary for several reasons. One, as I prepared lessons/messages for my former youth group back home, I realized that I didn’t really know how to study the Bible or preach it that well. I had a hunger to understand what I was looking at and how to communicate it.
Two, I had questions. Theological questions. Philosophical questions. And after attempting for a while to find the answers to these questions on Google and YouTube, it became clear that I needed a set of skills that I didn’t possess.
Side note… Nowadays when folks ask challenging theological questions of me, I usually respond with: “You’re asking a hard question. Are you willing to do the hard work required to find the answer?” Sadly, what I’ve found is that, while many don’t have a problem asking the deep questions of life, they simply don’t want to put in the effort that is necessary to find answers. Even more sad is how this apathy so often leads to either nominal religious belief or skepticism. More on that later.
Back on topic…
So, to catch you up on my story. I didn’t find all the answers I was looking for. I think I found a lot of them, and I feel like many of the rest can be narrowed down to a couple of good options. But I’ve come to accept that there are several questions that I’m not going to get answers to – at least not in this life. And I’ve found peace even in this realization.
So, don’t think that this series is about me offering a shortcut or magic pill for life’s tough questions. It’s really about what I wish I could go back and tell myself a decade ago.
And it’s about helping people who may be now where I was then.