All day I've been feeling off my game and a little nervous. It was partially due to a bad night's sleep, but even after my nap, I felt off. I took some time to really get in touch with myself and I realized that I'm nervous about starting classes. A lot of my classmates seem very academically oriented, and they have found their niche in the world of academic theology or Biblical studies or Biblical languages. I really don't have that. I've studied in each of those areas, but I feel like I'm more of a dabbler. I learn a little bit of everything and then put it together in a way that makes sense to me. I do academics, and I do them well, but I don't live in an academic world. I am more practically oriented. For example, I want to learn the Biblical languages because I want to be able to look up verses in their original language and use that knowledge to fuel sermons and conversations with my parishoners. I want to learn Biblical studies because I want to figure out how to teach academically sound Bible studies to lay people and preach about it from the pulpit.
So, as I sit here on the eve of my first class, I'm worried because I know I won't be the best student to ever walk through the halls of my seminary. I'm not the smartest, I'm not the most academically astute, but I hope that I can grow. I also hope that I never get so overwhelmed in my work that I fail to remember that I'm learning so I can build a better church, one that knows today's understandings of the Bible and realizes that there's more than one theology. If I can walk away from here with the knowledge base to be able to do that, it will be worth it.