My Seminary Experience: Why My First “A” Meant So Much

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I can’t even lie to you! I was so elated and krunk (another word for excited) when I received an “A” in taking my first seminary class! Now, the excitement over this A is not like I didn’t make many “A’s” in school growing up…well…I didn’t make many (unlike my wife/ 3.9 overall average in college). I have made some – HA! But this “A” was special to me for a couple of reasons. 

 

  1. It was my first seminary class…I haven’t been in formal school since 1998.
  2. I did the very best that I could learning and trying to understand the material.

I almost didn’t get this “A”. 

When I thought about this earlier, getting an “A” shouldn’t be my ultimate goal…doing my best before the Lord should.

I know this good truth and knowledge in my head. But that knowledge was put to the test and I almost failed.

Let me explain.

Subconsciously I would like to get all “A’s” in seminary. I don’t really know if the reason is because I never had all “A’s” before. It sure would be nice to get them. Receiving an A in my first class would be incredible. “A’s” says you are good and you know your stuff. 

“But what had happened”…I was clueless on several of the assignment deadlines. I had all my books, check. I had my syllabus, check. I had my hunger for knowledge ready for the class, check. Then one day, I went into a class where my teacher continued to say over and over again, “Make sure you email your assignments to me”. Of course, I’m thinking he’s talking about turning them in next week or something but they were actually due that morning!!!

“ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?!?!?” saying to myself as I panicked.

My heart went into my feet when I heard that! How in the world did I miss this deadline?!?!? “There goes my A.’’ I thought. And then the wrestling in my mind began.

“Oh well…no A for me”.

“How in the world could I have missed this”?

“My first class and I will get a C”.

“I always have good intentions in doing well but the results seem to be the same…not as good as I expected”.

Then the truth hit me like a ton of bricks! Whether I get an A in this class or a D, the Lord is pleased with a whole hearted effort. A grade doesn’t define who you are. Then I began to breath a little easier. I asked the professor could I get an extension because I totally missed the deadline unknowingly. He graciously gave me until the next week to finish.

Then this same episode, in the same class I might add, happened again to me preparing to preach in my class for an assignment! My professor asked in the beginning of class, “Who is ready to preach their sermon first”? WHAT? WHAT SERMON? My heart was racing like a roach, running for cover to the dark, when the light shines. You better believe I was praying that I didn’t have to preach that day! And the Lord was kind to me in not allowing me to preach until another day.

One thing is for sure, this class has taught me more than just preaching. The Lord has taught me from these stressful situations in this class that who I am is not based on what my final grade is. Who I am is in the accomplishments of another…Jesus Christ. He is always right. He is always good. He is righteous! And because of this truth, I can embrace any grade I receive in seminary through giving a sincere and good effort. Yes, the Lord wants my very best. He doesn’t want only an A.

So why was receiving an A so exciting?

 

Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Colossians 3:23

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