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« Daily Readings - John 12:44-50 | Main | Hoping for the easy life »

Live the life we're given or bloom where we're planted

I always take note of articles about seminary education. Education is a topic which generally interests me, and more so now that I'm a student. I love to hear about good resources for students, and recently I found myself reading blogs by a student who attends Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. She was sharing about being taught by D.A. Carson and Kevin Vanhoozer. Big names those. I've only read Vanhoozer, but I've heard Carson speak a number of times, and I can only imagine the richness of his teaching. When I hear about students who attend schools which are well-known or who are exposed to teaching by well-known scholars, it is my natural disposition to think "I wish I could do that." I can be a perfectionist and that means wanting the best; the best resources, the best tools; the best instructors. That, of course, is my pride rearing its ugly head. After all, what is my purpose for education? Is it to say I've been taught by so-and-so? 

For a few moments this past week, I imagined what would have resulted if I'd discovered my love of learning before I became a wife and mother (because that love really came to fruition in such a context). Would I have braved leaving my country and my home to attend a prestigious seminary? I don't really think I would have. It's nice to think of being able to do so, but I don't think I would have done it. I'm not really the adventurous type, and when push comes to shove, I wouldn't want to live anywhere other than Canada. I am a homebody. This is where I'm from and where I want to be. If God should call me elsewhere, so be it. But right now, he has me here.

I love my school. No, Kevin Vanhoozer doesn't teach there. It isn't world renowned. But, again, what is my purpose for attending seminary? Heritage Seminary fits exactly with where I am and who I am. I love being home. I love being with my dogs and my husband, and having my kids close enough to visit with regularly. I love the little town where I live and how close it is to other amenities so that I don't have to live in a big city. I love driving to school in the early morning past corn fields and gently sloping pastures. I love being only an hour away from school. I love every minute of my class time, but I also love driving home along the river road and being back by tea time. God has blessed me.

My profs have all been excellent. They care about the students. One of my profs was at one time offered a position at a prestigious school. He turned it down because it would not have been good for his family. I am thankful to have been taught by someone like that. There is value in learning from excellent teaching, and my school does bring in teachers for special courses such as the one this month taught by Stephen Wellum and the ones taught by Michael Haykin. But I love being able to have a professor on a weekly basis, all year long. Online and modular learning are great, but I do love traditional classroom learning where I can get to know people.

My purpose for seminary is so that I can learn more about God. The benefits also include learning how to think better, how to improve writing, and to be part of a community. I can get all of these right where I am. God placed me in this small town for this time in my life so that I could do what I'm doing. Living the life we're given is the best we can do for God; bloom where we're planted. It's good advice.

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