6 months as a seminarian. What’s that like?

What’s it like to have been in seminary for 6 months (and running)? How Do you rate your faith? I wish there was some way to assess all that. And this isn’t about me alone, it’s mainly God’s domain, yeah? So you don’t assess. Ha ha.

My difficulties have mostly been with time and people. It’s been sort of a challenge adjusting to some students’ attitudes and ‘power’ displays. It definitely tests your patience and composure. I liked that challenge and I’m still in the process of learning self-regulation and composure. We all face difficult people in life and need to know how to interact with them in a Christian way. I found it difficult and didn’t wanna be the ‘loser’. At the same time, I know it’s my ego keeping me from being Christ-like. Still working on that.

Managing studies and all the activities and extra- curriculars and responsibilities within this tight schedule is not funny. Working around it sucks the energy out of you. You end up with hardly any time for reflection.

The sunny side of things is that from the very first week, I’ve realised that this Is where I should be at this point of time in my life and that of the others. Something’s dug a deep hole in my faith and that’s the sign of me growing up, I’m told. The beliefs and faith I’ve had has been quite shallow and nursery school level while I learn in different ways about what faith Is all about and how myopic i could get about christianity. I’m blessed to have wonderful teachers Who’re really cool, because they provoke us, challenge us, encourage discussion and dialogue and constantly push to go and find out more. They Do all this with a smile. These guys a different group of priests who are chilled out scholars and mentors.
It’s my first time living in boys hostel kind of set up and man, Is it fun or what!

Suspended feelings

suspended. Image courtesy: coolhandzz @photobucket

Some people make you feel very uneasy. One of the reasons is that sometimes that relationship is not defined. When people fall in the regular categories of friend, brother, sister, best friend, neighbour,  uncle, aunt, your friend’s parent,  teacher, senior, pastor, and the like. But when some people blur those boundaries I am at a fix as to how to talk to them. How much intimacy can you show? How restrained should you be? What is decent?

Can they be your friend: but what if they are way older than your usual friends? Or younger? What about the ‘respect’ aspect with age? How close do you allow yourself to be with your friend without fearing crossing the line?

Sometimes, the lines are assumed. Sometimes, that friendship, if you can call that, is seamless.  Some are fraught with tension within although on the outside everything looks fine.

Sometimes, to my surprise, they know, you know that this isn’t the ordinary types. And you just live, or let that person pass through your life, and the memories remain.

See! Do you understand what I mean by suspended feelings? It’s mainly because you can’t categorise them. The human mind works easier with categories, although that’s one way of narrowing the way it thinks and functions.

I know of beautiful persons who don’t let these things worry them. They are at home with suspended feelings. They just hang in the air and accept them as part of life. There is a sort of liberation in that, you know! I’ve been learning to be OK with that. And it’s showing a new door to life. A different way of experiencing it. The fear of ” where will this end up?” comes as it could end in discomfort or pain or even in just a beautiful way of living life. In fact, it doesn’t have to end. You can just live that way. Have you ever had these suspended feelings?

” You are so dumb.”

“So, did God call you?”

“Yeah.”

” How do you know?”

“I just know.  He called me after I told Him I was willing to help.”

“Did he call out your name?”

“No. I believe what I heard was intended for me.”

“How sure are you?”

“He walked me through some circumstances. I thought He could use a hand.And I was ready to help.”

“So you didn’t hear His voice?”

“Not like a human voice, no. But you could speak without words,you know; through music, through paintings, nature, gestures, silence, circumstances . . .”

“Heh, like playing a guitar without strings?

” No, like making music without a guitar.”

“I don’t know man, you could be just delusional, you know.”

“I could be. But this is my calling.”

“What if you are ‘calling’ yourself?”

” I can’t ever do that, you know. Everything that comes your way, has a purpose.So if I felt a call, I believe there  is a purpose behind it.”

“So you “feel” your call.”

“Yeah.”

“Are you sure you did not “hear” it?”

” Very. . .You have more senses than one and if you keep the channels open and put it all together, you’ll feel it . . .”

” That’s rubbish. You lost it there. ‘Feeling’ it makes it emotional, and therefore one-sided. There are other aspects to life’s call!”

“That’s why you calm down and put all the pieces together. Think it over. And over.”

“You are so dumb.”

Beauty, you kill me

Beauty, you kill me

Everywhere I turn, you invade me

There’s a rush and a turn , a glance

And a churn, I wonder how and why

You beat me.

And you just do.



I’m caught in the glance,

Appreciation lies in the detail

Where glance, a second, or a third is not enough

And  the main requirement is to go beyond the fourth.

How could beauty be so beautiful? Why does it hurt?

You can’t stand and watch till it morphs into a stare

And you get people’s glare and labels square

There’s innuendo the next time your friends talk

Or they’re hiding while they appreciate you for other things.

Since I can only appreciate, and there’s so much to see

You’re always left behind and you come in another disguise

Why ? Everywhere? It’s awesome, except for the stare

Because when you stare all over my puzzled face

All I could say is, ‘Oh God, how beautiful can one get!’



But don’t think I don’t know how elusive you are

Looks do matter but that’s not all there is.

There’s much beyond you, that I know

But your influence, I must admit

Is beyond  what you are aware of.

You make one eloquent;

Do stupid things, when you ought to look and be,

Intelligent.

You have made time fly and waits long

Me weak and yourself strong

Did God tell you what I ought to do?

Because I don’t seem to recall.

I can’t ask you to stop hurting me,

As the world around can be dull without you.

Still . . .

You kill me and you ought to know.

Doors opening.

God’s doing it again.

He doesn’t need my boat to come and calm the storm.

He opens doors,  brings opportunities, takes me places I can’t imagine going myself. all of this inspite of acting disinterested in what He seems to be showing me in very very subtle ways.

The subtle God. Mind you. He doesn’t figure on any of our radars. He works in completely different ways. We just can’t imagine.He has a different route. Something we don’t realise existed until we went through it. I am beginning to like it, because it is adventurous. Actually, it’s because He is being faithful and is continuing to shower encouragement in one way or the other. Praise God.

Action, not the feeling?

Doors open and close

    Two options have I before me:

  1. Do some theology now and study further in Psychology/ Counselling later.

  2. Enroll on a Ph.D Psych programme and do a bit of theology later.

  3. Theology figures in both places, because when you set out for the Lord, you ought to have a clearer understanding of the troubles in clearly understanding God.

    Psychology, on the other hand, appears twice, as it is a my special are of interest.

    Which way? I’m waiting for some emails from some Universities about their Ph.D programmes.

    If I have to do theology next year, I’ll have to apply this year and the dead line for applications is August 31.

    My sister, very sweetly wrote in detail, amidst her busy schedule, that I should look for opening and closing doors now. That’s the best way to decide on His will at the moment. If it’s his will, doors will open, if it isn’t the doors will shut. She herself has an amazing story to tell of how she enrolled for her Ph.D at an American university all in just three and a half months. God opened the right doors and without wasting time she just entered them. Of course, she has a super supportive adventurous husband who’s achieving his big dreams one after the other! I’m very proud of both of them.

    I’m taking a walk down life’s corridor. Come and open door and I hop in.

    This is a very exciting phase.

Pendulum

 
 

If you have been following what have been writing in the past few days, you can see my thoughts oscillating like a pendulum.

 
 

Trust in God

 
 

Doubt.

 
 

Faith.

 
 

More faith.

 
 

Uncertainty.

 
 

Struggle.

 
 

Fatigue.

 
 

I am in that place where you know what to tell people who are in trouble, because you truly believe that is the truth and the way the bible teaches. At the same time, I’m struggling to put them into practice.

 
 

Caught.

 
 

There’s no more validity to what I say. Even as I tell me friend, hold on, God has a plan, I struggle wondering where God is and why He isn’t clear. But my strong belief is He will be so clear some time that I will be able to see and hear what He wants. Till then I must hold on to his promises. And , shut up.

 
 

But will He make himself clear? Or would I have to decode what His message is from all that I read and hear? Is He expecting me to solve a riddle? Or will He whisper that I won’t hear and miss it? This is where I would be making a fool of myself if I miss it. Well, that anxiety, as you can see, is till there.

 
 

It scares me. I’ll hold on still, because when, not if, God makes things clear, it will be a story which many will be able to identify with.