09 October 2007

A New Week

It's a new week at Candler, and with it comes a new week of classes. But with the classes come new conversations, new prayers, new worship experiences, and new grace.

two things.

(+) believe the story
(+) love the people

07 October 2007

How Can I Keep From Singing?

I had a viking week this week. I've used the term before, but for those who need a refresher, look here.

After an Old Testament test that wasn't too bad, and a Hebrew test that was, I was settling into the last few days fo class before the weekend. Friday, I went to my single class for the day--Hebrew. Now, our professor has a policy of weekly vocabulary quizes. You never know if it's going to be on a Wednesday or a Friday, but you know you're going to have one.

I walked into class Friday to find......................you guessed it........................a vocab quiz on our next chapter.

Silly me, thinking that a TEST during the previous class that week might just trump a taunting and arrogant little vocab quiz. BUT, clearly I was wrong.

All I could do was think about what a jerk move that was. I was pissed. I sat through the rest of class turned off, and debated going home right afterward. But, I reminded myself how much I loved worship, and how it would be good to go that day.

I walked out of class and into chapel, sitting alone near the exit. I didn't want to talk with anyone.

The service began. The Friday service is always mid-day Eucharist. We gather before we embark on our weekend (which for many seminarians is really a time for work), and break bread together once more.

Half way through the service, I was still growling like a viking. In fact, I left the service still pissed.

So I called my mom.

Later that day, as I was finally calming down, I thought back to the service. I thought back to how I wished that it had calmed me, how I wished that it had been the mellowing agent I was in desperate need of earlier that day. I wanted to be able to walk into that service and feel at peace. Isn't that what seminarians are supposed to do? But it didn't work out that way.

Then I remembered the closing hymn--"How Can I Keep from Singing?" It's one of my favorites. The song lilts about, explaining the worst of the worst emotions, then exclaiming the hope we have in God through Christ.

Then it asks a simple question: How can I keep from singing?

And I realized, that was it. How could I keep from singing? God walks with us during all of our moments--from the happy ones to the ones of despair. And, yes, even in the times of anger. When I wanted to throw in the towel (or, more specifically, soak it in pudding and throw it at my professor's head), God stuck with me. He let me be mad. Let me calm down, then sent a reminder saying "hey, it's gonna be alright. And don't pull shit like that. Thanks."

I've got that love, that patience and that hope?

How can I keep from singing?