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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Affirmation

This is me with Alex. She is my admissions rep. I love her. She is so encouraging and full of the Holy Spirit. I wish you could hear her talk. She looks and has mannerisms like Anne Hathaway, but when she opens her mouth--pure heaven! She's from New Zealand. After she and her husband finish their degrees here at Covenant Theological Seminary, they plan to return to New Zealand to advance the fullness of the gospel there. Not many people there live by a biblical worldview, even if they say they believe in Christ.
 Where are we standing? This was once a classroom for CTS in the building called Edwards Hall. Now it is used as a dining room for small gatherings. We had breakfast here with three other potential students and the whole admissions team. Why keep a chalkboard in a dining room? It did seem out of place. But it has historical value. This is the very chalkboard in the very classroom where Francis Schaeffer taught. Never mind that I' m not wearing knickers. I'm standing where Francis Schaeffer taught. Right there. Yep.

Here are a few final thoughts from the trip, and some pictures of our very brief time in the city. We got one quick tour from our friend Mark on Friday evening, and then Bill and I stopped by the Arch just to touch it before we left town for the long drive home to our girls.
 The Arch through the sunroof of my VW Beetle, while we circle for a place to park.

The Arch on approach.                                   Wow! It soars, anti-gravitational.

  

 Bill at the base of the Arch. It's much bigger than I expected. I was impressed.










 Bill touches the Mississippi. Yes, it was COLD!







 I chose just to stand by it. The cold wind was enough for me. Riverboats, probably floating casinos, behind me.






Current reflections about the trip: At this point, I can say that I feel affirmed.

For about 20 years, I had held in my mind's eye a picture of Covenant Theological  Seminary. No matter how many years passed, the picture stayed the same: earnest students, seeking greater knowledge of God for the purpose of application; knowledgeable, humble, approachable, godly teachers with dynamic and diverse lecturing styles; a spirit of humility and transparency and service among all there; a foundational understanding that this God we know is too great to be kept to ourselves.

Had I built it up too much? If you've read anything I write for any length of time, or if you've ever spent more than 10 minutes with me face to face, then you know: I'm an idealist. No, I'm an IDEALIST! Was my image of CTS a reality, or just an ideal of my own imagining?

After two days immersed in the culture of the place, I came away completely satisfied that I had not created the seminary in my imagination. I saw what I was looking for. I saw the spirit of humility and love and mutual respect among the very knowledgeable PhD's and the seeking students of all ages. I saw professors of absolutely diverse styles and approaches to relationship with God (after the basic agreement of creation, fall, redemption, glory) jovially agree to the possibility of co-teaching a class. I heard all over the place, "We can make this happen if this is what God wants you to do." I was met with confidence and encouragement. The goals I took in with me were immediately latched onto and supported as important, valuable, purposeful. Even the reason for waiting so long seemed, now, to everyone there as if it had purpose behind it, though we can't claim to understand fully. All I know is that at this point, home and rested and ruminating on what comes next, it is time for the rubber to meet the road.

Applications to be made, references sought, schedules considered. How much to do from home? How many intensive classes will I be able to do on site? How to get there? Details. Real details.

And I'm hit with this incredible peace about it all. The chihuahua-after-a-double-espresso that lives under the right side of my rib cage is sleeping. If it happens, Praise! If it doesn't, I know, it's still OK. God's got this. He knows the plans he has for me. He knows the plans he has to work through me. He knows the good works he prepared in advance for me to do.

I'm stepping out in confidence, if not certainty. I'm stepping out in obedience. I'm stepping out where I think I hear calling. If it is truly calling, he will keep opening doors. If it is only interest, then I expect him to shut those doors. I'm planning to go until he tells me to stop.

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