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Finding Joy Amidst Work

I'd been told I would most enjoy my senior year of seminary so much more than the Middler year. Well, with this last third year at VTS comes the necessary paperwork and interviews for Candidacy, preparation for the GOEs, OTM Profile (the new CDO) and resumes, Field Ed assignment work, sermons, lesson plans, and assessments, and even more that is not yet on my radar.  All this along with the classes, reading, studying, writing and stuff associated with everyday seminary education.  I'm not sure 'enjoy' is the word I would use, but I am coming to appreciate what still lies ahead, and I remain hopeful.

Yet more and more clergy I meet talk about books they're reading, or have read while on vacation or sabbatical. I find myself yearning for that time when I might read for pleasure more than for education, for continued formation rather than as required reading.  I am not an active reader.  As people say, I would never characterize myself as a 'well-read person,' but I do like to sit with a book from time to time.  I look forward to immersing myself in something that gladdens my heart or challenges my spirit which is less academic and more informative.  To be about the ministry of God instead of always striving to learn about what it may encompass, head-wise.

So I determined I need to intersperse some 'joy reading' amidst all the work stuff I still have left to accomplish in this last year of seminary.  I'm in and out of two books right now: Marriage and Other Acts of Charity by Kate Braestrup, and Will I See My Dog in Heaven? by Jack Wintz, OFM.  I thoroughly enjoyed Braestrup's first book (Here If You Need Me) which I had to read for Theology & Practice of Ministry my first year, and Heart Of My Heart gave me Wintz's book as I work my way through the Dean's Systematics class (me thinks she knew that a little fun 'dancing around the edges' would be good for me).  

So I resolve to complete one of these book this week during the Thanksgiving holiday week, and the other before month end.  Class schedules are such that I have no class this week, but have other reasons (see above) to venture to the Holy Hill.  I hope to get a lot of school/field ed/other work done, but want (need?) to include some joy also.  If this works, it may become a good pattern to add to my Rule of Life, which always needs attention and refinement.

Almighty Father, your Seeking Servant prays from guidance.