As I prepare for a new academic year, I am doing so at two levels. As academic librarian I am seeking to ensure that the service and guidance I offer are at the highest standard I can achieve, and therefore, hopefully of real help to students and staff.
I am also preparing to return to study myself, and herein lies my problem. As things stand I will start the Grad.Dip. programme in September by distance learning. Positives are obvious, I will be more aware of what the full-time students face, my subject knowledge will hopefully increase, my mind kept active, and possibly a foundations for future ministry (within the academic environment). However, I cannot escape a nagging doubt that I am pursuing this course for selfish reasons, the ambition, vanity, pride and hubris of my title. Is WEST best served by me undertaking more advanced theological study? How will my family life be impacted? Is it more about my own feeling of self-worth, rather than the service of the Church: an unspoken competition with academic colleagues in the teaching faculty? Am I up to it anyway (particularly the Biblical languages element)?
I haven’t really resolved any of this in my own mind one way or the other, so the only thing seems to be to keep going, prayerfully, and trusting that God has a purpose in this for His glory.