Additions to New Life List…

As I said last year around this time, I don’t like the theme of New Year’s resolutions; merely with the word “year” they suddenly seem limited to just one year. Any thing that I find needing some kind of change ought not to be just for one year; it ought to be a lifetime change. Since we have a new Life in Christ, we must make all necessary adjustments and changes in an effort to live that new Life in a more Christ-like fashion.

So instead of making a New Year’s resolution list, I’ve made a small list of things I’m adding to my New Life resolution. I’ve mentioned a couple of them in other posts, but I feel it necessary to add them to my list merely because they were major challenges in 2010. The others are somewhat new, but honestly they were things I’ve had at the back of my mind for some time. Anyhow, here they are:

1.       Quit Facebook

If you’ve read my last post, you’ve already got a good idea of how I feel about my relationship with Facebook. It has just gotten to a point where it’s too time-consuming, too impersonal, and too addicting. There have been days where if I didn’t tell the world about the most recent thing that had happened to me, I’d freak out. Okay, it wasn’t that bad, but I did have this seemingly-constant awareness of my “status” or what a future “status” might be. It just got annoying. My sabbatical from Facebook might not be completely permanent, but it’ll be for a long while nonetheless.

My challenge, though, won’t be how well I quit Facebook now, but rather when I’m bored. It’s easy to quit anything for a day or two or maybe even three. But when life starts slowing down and you find yourself in a moment of boredom or laziness, it’s really tough to continue to quit. So hopefully I’ll be able to remain disconnected from Facebook in my moments of boredom.

2.       Get A+s in all my classes

A very recent idea came to mind just earlier today; Western Seminary in Portland. This might seem like a bit of a surprise and if you’ve read my posts about law school possibilities, you might be rolling your eyes thinking, “Oh boy, here he goes again,” but I honestly believe this is something different. In my short time as a Christian, I’ve loved reading Scripture. And in my college career, I’ve loved learning new ways to look at Scripture and evaluate the text that is actually there rather than what others have said is there. A blog I’ve been following, Near Emmaus, has had interesting posts about Christian thought and how we approach Scripture. One post in particular got me so interested in the comparison between Mark’s gospel and John’s gospel that I’ve begun studying through them both with an Oxford commentary in hand. I’m such a nerd.

This is also the blog that basically sparked the idea in my mind. I know at least two of the bloggers are studying at seminaries in Oregon (one at George Fox and another at Western), which made me consider what seminary would like for me. If you know me and my thoughts about systematic theology, you probably know I have a few disagreements with it and you might be wondering why I’d consider seminary. But that’s just it; although I’m primarily against the need for systematic theology, studying it stirs my mind in a God-centered fashion. Even though I disagree with several doctrines, reading and studying through them has created a thirst for God in an intellectual manner; a thirst that I doubt any secular university could quench.

The only problem I face, though, is getting accepted. My GPA isn’t the greatest right now (2.75) and the only way I could get it back up to a 3.0 is if I get A+s for the next three terms in at least three classes each term. I’m not even kidding; it’s A+s across the board or no seminary for Jeremy. I’ve done the math several times over and if I go two terms of 16 credits each with A+s across the board, I still only boost my GPA to 2.99. It’s 36 perfect credits or bust.

3.      Talk with People; don’t just text or email

Part of the reason why I’ve quit Facebook is because it was too impersonal. In a like manner, so also is texting or emailing someone I could call just as easily. Like I said last time, you can call me old school, but I think it’s far better for humans to learn or remember or relearn how to interact with other humans apart from the social networks and text messages. And let’s be honest; it’s so much harder to convey tone of voice in a text, email or Facebook post than it is in actual conversation.

Even beyond how impersonal the social mediums can make me; I’m not very outgoing to start with. Making myself call the people I want to talk to instead of texting them will get me comfortable in actually talking out loud (instead of writing out my words). Also, on one level, I feel that sending a text message or a message of text to someone rather than calling them up is in a way cheating; you’re enabling yourself to edit what you want to say before you “say” it. Communicating with others through texts, wall posts, or anything non-oral takes away the spontaneous nature of human conversation. I’ve definitely missed out on that in 2010.

4.      Get a passport

It wouldn’t hurt. Besides, who knows what’s going to happen in 2011; I may need to go to a distant country for some odd reason. It’d be handy to have a passport which would enable me to travel.

So that’s my list. There aren’t very many things, I know, but they’re tough ones to change, especially beyond this incoming year. But like the marathon runner who makes small tweaks and adjustments to his running form during the race, I must make these tweaks to keep running hard. It might be uncomfortable at first, but by the end of it all, when we cross that finish line and see Jesus face to face, I think it’ll be more than worth it.

God bless y’all and have a happy new year!

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Jeremy

Cherokee / Whovian / Sherlockian / Aspiring Auror / Lover of Jesus, Scripture, and creativity / MATS Student at George Fox Seminary.

7 thoughts on “Additions to New Life List…”

  1. @Jeremy: I am glad to hear you are considering seminary (and that our blog has motivated you, in part)! While I would strive for the 3.0 GPA do not think that something under 3.0 disqualifies you. I work in the admissions office at Western Seminary and I have seen students accepted with an GPA under 3.0. What likely would happen is that you would begin your first twelve hours under “academic probation”, i.e. you need to do well or the seminary has the right to prevent you from continuing. This should be nothing to worry you though. If you are passionate, study hard, and always seek to improve, you will get good grades in seminary and after the first few semesters said probation would be lifted.

    Of course, if you bump that GPA up to 3.0 or near 3.0 there may be no worries. Also, the M.DIV GPA requirement is only 2.5.

    Thanks for reading Near Emmaus and good luck w. the rest of your undergraduate program!

  2. @Brian: That is definitely good to know. Grade point averages have always been the intimidating factor about grad school or seminary; it seems as though I’ve only managed to be a C+/B- student, even though in the upper division and more focused classes, my average is more like a B+/A-. As odd as it may sound, the general education, lower-level classes often give me problems simply because there isn’t a more centralized focus with the material.

    But I have to be honest, some of them I just didn’t care about. Laziness is oftentimes a factor in my poor grades. With the subjects offered in some seminaries, though, I don’t want to be lazy. Exhausting myself in studying Scripture doesn’t seem so daunting of a task. Anyhow, hopefully I tackle this next term like Beowulf tackled Grendel 🙂

  3. Jeremy,

    Great goals you have here. Yes, don’t be discouraged by your GPA now or whatever GPA you end your BA with. Brian is right—the minimums for many MDiv programs is 2.5.

    Thanks for the link to the post. Your contributions have been really helpful. If you want to pursue this Mark-John comparison further, Richard Bacukham has an essay entitled “John for Readers of Mark” in The Gospels for All Audiences, which he edited. Paul Anderson has a full-length treatment a comparison between John and the Synoptics. On Amazon, you’ll find a preview for the paperback edition.

    I hope you’ve been enjoying your break so far and are rested up to face this next term.

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