It is 8:43 on a Sunday night.
My coffee pot is ready to brew it's first pot of the day and ready to be devoured with the help of Thin Mint Coffee Cream. #thatcreameriscrack
In the next nine days (count them), I need to spit out somewhere around 35-40 pages of written work and study for my Old Testament final. I also need to write out my eight pages of answers as part of my ordination process. Anyone an expert on Wesley? Anyone? Oh, and I need to write a sermon for the 15th of December because I'm preaching in our contemporary service.
Why am I telling you this?
To complain? Nope.
To whine? Nope.
To brag? Nope.
To vent? Nope.
I'm telling you this because today starts Advent and today also marks the wake-up call to many church goers that it is time to start thinking of Jesus for the next twenty-five days. Then we get a break until Easter. All of that is another blog for another day...The first day of Advent? I don't have time for that or as one of my favorite YouTube news sensation says, "Ain't nobody got time for that!" I've got school...heeelllllooooo.
But I need to make time.
This blog is mainly for my fellow seminary friends, but I think we can all relate to it. If all I am consumed with is writing or studying these next few days, then I'm a failure. If all I can think about is getting that A then I've lost sight of something. I realize that most of us are going to seminary to become pastors so we feel a lot of pressure to be the best. However, if we can't even push aside our books for just a moment during finals week, then how are we going to survive when we're running a church? We won't. That is the simple truth. Finals week is nothing compared to what I have witnessed while working in a church the last five years. Capital Campaign anyone? Easter? Back to back funerals? Hospital visits? I rest my case.
I see my Bible looking at me from across the room. The gold pages catch the light and reflect over in my eyes and it seems to say, "hey remember me?" This book that changed (and continues to change) my life is the book that sometimes I find myself reading the least amount. This is the book that was used in part to call me into ministry. Now I don't have time for it? Ouch. Not good.
I don't want to pick it up to read it so I can do better on Dr. Heller's final. I want to read it because the words are life. I want to read it because it is full of the Spirit. I want to read it because I want it more than I want that A. More than an A? I know of you just gasped. Relax people. It is just an "A."
It is the first day of Advent. If I miss out on this Advent season because of school, I have missed the point and might as well drop out of seminary. I just don't think my future congregants or yours will really care about our GPAs. Shocker. I know.
So here is to that "B" that I may end up getting. I'll toast to that if it means I'm celebrating Christ more. I think somehow that will mean more in the end.
To my seminary friends, close the six books that are surrounding your computer right now. I know that is how many you have at the very least. Go pick up your Bible and read it. Pray. Breathe. Journal. Write a blog. Sing a praise and worship song. Have a glass of wine. Eat sugary crap. Just go be with God.
To the rest of you...do something to change this Advent season.
*And yes, this picture has nothing to do with my blog. I just liked it.