So at long last I’m heading into my (supposed) final year at university. And once again the dynamics of how my week runs changes; so I suppose I should update most people (who are) on what entails my life for this year, and specifically this semester.
This final year might actually be a bit easier than last year (though to be fair last year was the hardest of my uni career). My Actuarial course for this semester is 1 of 2 non-mathematical courses I will need to complete this year. That is a huge surprise since everyone does expect my course to be nothing but maths; instead it’s exactly the opposite. The course is about thinking through the theoretical issues behind what we do with the maths. Rather than teach us more maths, we need to be taught how to use them in the workplace; so I guess it’s a more practical course although we only deal with case scenarios in the course. Strangely, the lecturer runs the course as a student interaction class. He doesn’t provide much notes and doesn’t want us taking notes. Rather, he wants us to be giving input during class and having us all think through the same topic and add to each other’s understanding. It’s different to other courses I guess and may prove to be more interesting than others since it’s being run differently. It will still be hard since we don’t actually have any notes for any exam discussion questions (yes, no more maths in the exams for this course haha).
My other two math courses are third year subjects which so far appear to be easier than last year’s math courses; hopefully they stay that way. My last course is a second year finance course which if done in second year would be considered extremely difficult. But doing it in fourth year, and also after doing an Actuarial course last semester that was EXACTLY like it, this finance course should pose no challenge for me too. Of course the last time I acted arrogantly towards a course in this way, I didn’t do that great; but that’s probably due to the fact that I didn’t study for it, knowing that I had studied for it once already in another course.
This time round I’m a bit more prepared for applications. It was a bit hard since most applications had opened in the week I was returning from Hong Kong; I spent the first week after returning to recover so I didn’t manage to start my applications until up to two weeks later. But at least this time it’s not like I’m starting them when they close, which is a good start. In light of the things I said about internship applications, I suppose putting a Christian lifestyle through the perspective of secular work has made me see the way I should be trying to use the strengths of my ministry commitments in my job applications. It’s still not easy finding a way to express what I believe as a Christian in a way that employers would approve but I hope that experience will come in time. I am still nervous about getting any position for a graduate program but in all things it’s all up to God; al I can do is try my hardest and keep praying.
Yes, normally I would be talking about this first, and perhaps that shows how my perspective is changing a bit this year, and needs fixing over the next few months. My situation at church has changed drastically for this year and I think this is the part that requires the most explanation. In short, I am no longer a leader of my church for any ministry. At first I was being moved to another ministry as part of strategically re-allocating our leaders but now I am no longer an official leader of any church ministry. Explanation: without going into too much detail, my Actuarial course this semester prevents me from attending leaders’ meetings which are crucial if ministry is to be done effectively and strategically, and as such it is wise for me to say that I cannot commit to being a leader for this semester at least. And that is why I am no longer serving as a leader in that way.
This doesn’t mean I’m not doing anything for church at all. I am still helping with church camp and being shifted to do more ministry supporting activities. So this would include more upfront speaking roles for church services (eg: MC). I am being scheduled in to do another talk/sermon at my church on May 13. If you are not shirking any responsibilities that day your support in coming, listening and providing me feedback would be much appreciated. Not being a leader has consequently freed up a lot of my time now. Before, I never realised how much work was involved and just how much of an emotional strain it had put me in when combined with all the other things I had on in a week. I suppose I’ll talk more about that in another post regarding the load of ministry people do in general.
So as for general ministry work is concerned, I’m considered to be “rogue”, or “mercenary” is a term I’d like to use. I suppose now I have more time to go into my other personal ministries, such as this blog, and simply just spending time with people and helping them grow in their knowledge of Christ. I probably should also use this year to catch up on my own personal growth, as I guess that’s taken quite a hit since I started filling up most of my time with ministry. Generally this should be a healthy year for me, emotionally and spiritually.
Lastly of course, it goes without saying that my “main” ministry is now CBS. Some other reasons that would make CBS a little more important for me this year is that it’s my last year at uni (supposedly) and our grade needs to help pass it on to the younger years, once we graduate, leave uni and hence won’t be leading anymore. In light of the whole church incident it should also make fair sense to say that CBS has a higher priority than church since I have much more responsibilities there in comparison.
This semester at CBS should be fun and challenging. It’s seems this year’s freshmen either have good theology or little of the right theology. This makes it easier to grow them in culture since we won’t have to deal with some of the issues that surfaced last year. If you’re not aware of these issues then that’s good, you need not worry. MTS leaders are shuffling around a bit, new leaders need to set up; and slowly but steadily we are creating a culture within our faculty which should hopefully promote the seriousness of reading the Bible and correctly interpreting the truth from it. Changing a culture is a lot of work, but hopefully with more people on board this year than last, it’ll be easier to encourage others to do the same.
So at the end of the day this semester is a lot lighter for me. I partly feel a little lazier in comparison, but then again it could also have been that I worked a little too hard last year. For the time being I’m finding that I actually have time to do my tutorial homework; something I don’t think I’ve had the time or energy to do for two years, maybe that is saying something. Still it’s funny to see how God has carried me this far in light of how many challenges I’ve had to face. I suppose one of my next posts should be a reflection of the last year or two (or three) since my thoughts are flowing a little more free now. But life isn’t all good, there are always other small problems which I wish wasn’t there, but then where’s the challenge in that?