September 15, 2008

All of the Rigor; With None of the Mortis

I am heavily into the fall semester at seminary. I am trying to develop good reading habits. (Going to take a rapid reading course) I am trying to develop good study habits. I am trying to lay out a plan for working on the papers that will be due, concentrating on the start date as much as the due date. I am staying up on the reading. I am learning Turabian. (If you do not know what that is, consider yourself fortunate)

I survived syllabus shock. (Although, having on line availability of the syllabus prior to classes starting has to alleviate the shock. I mean, what are you doing? Haven't you checked out the syllabus already by the time you walk through the classroom door? You want a shock? Try prepping for a colonoscopy. You will be begging for syllabus shock to take your mind off the task at hand as it were. But, I digress) I am getting used to reading on a schedule instead of what I want when I want to read it. Not as bad as I thought it was going to be. I view a blog like Seminary Survival Guide which is chock full of helpful suggestions for a budding seminarian.

In short, I am applying as much discipline and rigor as I can to my studies without killing myself or the other parts of my life. It seems to be working. My wife and my pastor are still talking to me. I am happy with the approach so far. What I need to keep in mind that seminary is a marathon, not a sprint. I need to pace myself; a steady productive pace. Absorb the knowledge, steep in the Word. Chisel away the rough edges and preconceptions that a lifetime has built up.

What I am not seeing is any of the manic worry that always seemed to accompany my business career. It is busy, are there stresses? Yes, indeed. But there is a peace of mind overlaying it all that tells me I am in the right place, doing the right thing. The difference to me is I feel I am working towards something of true significance. That makes me more patient, more willing to run the race.

Most of all, I need to remember I am not doing this alone. I am being led by the Spirit, to the glory of God, to seek this knowledge out, to apply myself in deep learning of biblical truth. The road is going far ahead, but I am following it as best I can right now. It is narrow, but straight and true.

It is a shame I could not have had this attitude years and years ago. But I would not be the person I am today without going on the journey I have been through.


ryan said...

I'm glad to hear of your discipline in pushing forward with school. As you've already seen it can be quite a lot to handle. I'm pleased to hear you say that you're being led by the Spirit because it seems like for so many of us it just devolved into work we had to do - and ended up doing in our own strength.

Andy Coticchio said...


I have the discipline; what I need to pray for is not to have precision without the accuracy.

David Porter said...


Your making me smile. It seems kind of like you just went through the Stargate on that television show and now you are wondering...where the heck am I, on some foreign planet????

I noticed an awful lot of "trying" in your post. Made me smile.

Listen, I am still back in the land of the lost, at least you are on the ground running.

For that, I feel the evil sin of envy in my heart.

Press on my friend.

Andy Coticchio said...

Hey! Trying is a good biblical activity! It is hard work, but very satisfying. I am enjoying the brain stretching and hoping to fill in the empty space that occurs every time I do stretch.

As long as He pushes me, I will press on.

Mark said...

Sorry about Turabian. Part of me wants to start a seminary just so I could exclude a style guide.

Don't worry. You can do it.

General Editor
Seminary Survival Guide