The turn of the year brought about many heavy thoughts and cruel memories that I had to wrestle with. I have made many mistakes, as I’m sure most of us have. Mine are no more unique than yours, I’m sure. Unfortunately, that thought never stops me from spending hours at a time becoming consumed in the thick darkness of my own guilt.
Lately, though, I’ve noticed a great difference in the way I handle these negative thoughts. In my past, I would let them infect me, paralyze me, and destroy me. Recently, instead, I’ve been doing something about it. I’ve come to the point to where I’m tired of being consumed with negative thoughts and memories I can’t escape. Somewhere in the last six months I’ve decided to make the changes I need to make sure that these awful things can’t be repeated.
And so, many good things have simply fallen into place because of this change of attitude: I’ve gotten a promotion at work, I’ve paid off half of my debt, I’ve finished far more books in the last half a year than in my whole life, and I’ve overcome my crippling fear of strangers, even mastering the art of getting a phone number from them.
Naturally, then, I wanted to keep up this good work. So at the turn of the year, having been bombarded by the rampage of mind numbing mistakes of my past, I decided I was going to make a two resolutions this year: 1) read 52 books by the end of 2016, and 2) go back to school.
As far as one goes, I finished January having read 8 books cover to cover (the four Song of the Lioness books by Tamora Pierce and the first four Harry Potter books), and am currently on my 10th book. This is good for a few reasons. First, I’m committed to finishing the book series that I started back in high school, and hopefully to read those that I never got around to like the Chronicles of Narnia books. Second, since I’m starting to read these so late in the game, I’m seeing a lot of things that I really like and dislike in the books I’m reading. Essentially, I’m learning how to write (which is good because I love to write). Having 52 books to read in a year puts the quota at one book per week, and since I’m at book ten by week seven, I’d say I’m doing very well thus far.
Oh, and I’ve made some really good strides as far as going back to school is concerned. I filed my taxes at the end of January, as early as I could, so that I could fill out the FAFSA as early as possible. I’ve also spoken to both of my priests, all of my closest friends, a host of wise peers and good students, and mentors to ask for their wisdom, insight, tips, tricks, and knowledge on the challenges I’m going to be facing this fall.
Today, being the feast of St Polycarp, I spent away from work. (I’ve never worked on the feast of St Polycarp.) Instead, I was at Criswell college hoping to find out more on how to return in the fall and finish my degree. I’ve about 37 hours under my belt, which would leave me with about three years if I went back full time. Of course, that is my hope and thus far it seems quite possible. There are a few more details to be hammered out before I get carried away with it, but it seems to be working out for me. I still have to actually apply this Friday, schedule an appointment with the financial aid office, register for classes, and apply for a host of different scholarships, but by the prayers of Saints Polycarp, Nicholas of Myra, Nicholas of Japan, and Kosmas Aitolos, I’ll be attending Criswell in the fall of this year.
If I’ll be returning for a full time course load, the possible schedule would be:
Old Testament Backgrounds
Old Testament Survey 1
Topics in New Testament Studies: The Use of the Old Testament in the New
Baptist History and Distinctives
This is a very very good schedule that I hope remains unchanged. I like the professors I’ll be taking and will surely love the topics I’ll be studying (Baptist history too, even though I’m Orthodox).
If you made it to the end, please remember me in your prayers.