The Heartbeat

I mentioned you the other day to a really good guy. I said, "Justin is attending Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary," and he said, "Oh, that's a really good school." Schooling. Let me talk to you a bit about that…

I went to two colleges and then one seminary after finishing high school. Beyond high school that amounted to approximately 8.5 years of additional schooling. By the time I finished my Master of Divinity program at Westminster Theological Seminary I was totally shot: both emotionally and financially. If I had had the money and strength (the "umphfff") to continue on to obtaining my doctorate, that was the time to have done it. But I was shot…and engaged to be married. Getting married to Ruth sounded like a wonderful remedy and reward after all those years of schooling.

So, I finished with that master's degree after having obtained two bachelor's degrees. But for a good ten years after seminary, each August I would start to have this feeling of anxiousness in my inner being. That was the result of all those years of heading off to school in late August. And for even more years than that I continued to have, on occasion, dreams of taking some exam for a course where I had not attended a single lecture or read a single book. They were more like nightmares.

The anxiousness and nightmares have now long ago ceased. And even now I have thought, on occasion, about pursuing a doctoral degree. But then I think, "Or I could just spend more time with Ruth." The second option sounds more attractive.

What more you will do educationally; I do not know. Maybe even you don't know. For now, the hope of the elders is that you will finish your master's degree program. Beyond that…it will depend on a lot of things. You have young children, and they will need you at home. Burning Hearts may "take off" – growing significantly in size. Should that happen, it will take more of your time and attention. But don't worry about it right now. Right now you just need to get through your classes, graduate, and find your place (as a husband, father and pastor). So first things first.

By His Grace,

Doug Winne

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