Monday, September 13, 2010
"Consequently, we know the most perfect way of seeking God, and the most suitable order, is not for us to attempt with bold curiosity to penetrate to the investigation of his essence, which we ought more to adore than meticulously to search out, but for us to contemplate him in his works whereby he renders himself near and familiar to us, and in some manner communicates himself ... knowledge [of God's providence], then, ought not only to arouse us to the worship of God but also to awaken and encourage us to the hope of the future life."
- John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, I.V.X
If there is one thing that my Mother constantly reminds me, it is that the Lord is providential over my life. His providence carries me, encourages me, sustains me, and humbles me in my constant times of doubt. As my faithful Mom preached the providence of the Lord to me again on the phone this evening, I sat in my kitchen feeling the overwhelming depth of God's grace. This road to doctoral studies is one long journey of faith. All I seem to do is question, worry, doubt, stress, and grow more impatient. Yet, the Lord continues to bring events, people, voices, testimonies, and countless other means of guidance and encouragement into my life daily. This doesn't even begin to include some of my closest friends who have been invaluable ears as I ponder, discuss, and work through what I should do (Josh, Jill, Joel, Ashley, David, Mary - I love you guys!). I am truly blessed. Even if this never works out, the Lord continually reveals to me His love and grace, especially through my family and friends. Their patience with me and love for me is undeserved. I am thankful.
I have come to peace with the idea of going to the UK for a degree. While I am still far from certain as to my next step, I have decided that if I forego the US system and don't go through the typical pedagogical set-up, it won't necessarily cripple me as a teacher. I have been given specific examples of professors that have gone through the UK system and are just as competent, if not more in certain instances, than their US colleagues. While the US program would be ideal for the coursework, comprehensive exams, broad education, and not to mention the funding, I know that in twenty years, I'll regret not working with the best advisor that fits me. At this point I don't know who that will be. However, I have officially opened myself up to the real possibility of studying in Scotland. That decision is another act of faith, quite seriously. I don't know why I have been given the opportunity to study theology and seek a teaching vocation, but I hope that the Lord will prepare me, focus me, sustain me, and humble me.