Now that I’ve returned home to Aberdeen, semester 1 of 2nd year is officially over. Crazy times. It’s flown by so fast and so much has happened. Here is the almost obligatory list of things I did/learned in the past three months.
First major thing from this semester was living in a flat, like a “grown-up”. This involved all kinds of learning curves. For example, setting up electricity/gas/internet/telephone suppliers; “how to act like you know what you’re talking about in front of tradesmen”; cooking (my standard meals list has increased from 3 to 10 . . . not bad I think); and “how many layers it takes to fend off hypothermia inside a freezing flat” (the answer is no less than 8).
The biggest thing I had to learn in the flat this semester was how to be a flatmate, and this one, I know, I still haven’t quite mastered. It turns out that I’m a complete neat freak. And I’m very stubborn. And I like everything to be done my way. These things are not conducive to a happy living environment when you’re living with two people who are really quite different to you. However, we have all made it to the end alive and, as far as I’m aware, our friendships are intact (I know they read this sometimes, so I’ll soon be corrected if I’m wrong). I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut; to just get on and do it; to let others get on and do things their way – I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t be tricky!
I’ve learned some pretty great things at uni too. I now know all kinds of things about the 2nd and 3rd century church (martyrdom, worship, interaction with Roman society, heretics, apologists – it’s been good) and a little about philosophy in the last two thousand years (a significant amount about Descartes in particular). With Old Testament, well it’s maybe better that we just don’t go there . . . There have been many discussions about women in ministry, about the nature of scripture, the nature of the church and how to live “radically” for Jesus. You know, you’re usual light lunch time conversation. Perhaps the most useful thing I learned, and my mum will not be impressed when she reads this, is that I can write an essay (2000 words) in 3 hours, the day before it is due, and still get a very decent grade. That’s a very useful
stroke of luck to have in a moment of desperation skill to know you have up your sleeve.
The thing I’ve learned about God this semester is that his love for me and my commitment to following him are not determined or altered by my emotions on any given day. He is bigger than that and my covenant with him is bigger than that. There have been some amazing highs this semester, “mountain-top moments” Christians like to call them, such as the 24-7 Prayer International gathering, my baptism, the student weekend away. There have also been some really crappy, painful lows. But neither changes the awesomeness of God, how deserving he is of worship, or that I should be listening and obeying him.
That’s a lot to learn in 3 months. Definitely time for 3 weeks holiday and a lot of sleeping!