What If I Just Quit?

Classes start sometime in the near future or maybe recent past, I dunno. I was on the seminary website for a few hours last night, wandering around the torturous maze of yet another university’s poorly-designed student website, and I did manage to locate the one class that I’m taking this semester and I was even able to find the syllabus, but there was absolutely no indication what day the class starts. It’s on a Tuesday, I know that, but which Tuesday? There was some kinda way to communicate directly with the prof within the system so I asked him. Then I spent an hour trying to find the inbox for the email account that I was obligated to apply for within the system. I found something that was not an email inbox – more like an internal messaging page for a shoddy real estate office in the 90s – but there was a tab to send feedback so I sent a message asking if that was the email page, without much expectation that anyone would get back to me. Oh yeah, before all that I spent a little time on the shitty community college site trying to find out when the class that I was taking there was going to start and in the process I discovered that when I signed up for an online science class, the college assigned me an in-person lab.

Huh. It kinda seems like if you want an online class, that means you want an online class. Since I can’t do an in-person lab, which is why I signed up for a fucking online class, I just dropped it. Fuck that noise. Then I sent an email to my advisor at yet another college, the actual person who I communicate with regarding the ransom I have to pay for the piece of paper that will allow me to go to a seminary that I increasingly don’t want to go to, and asked her if it would be possible for me to take the required science class at that college, which will cost more, but I’m already expecting to die in debt so who fucking cares at this point.

So, I seem to have a class at seminary that may be starting sometime, possibly also a class at another college, I have no way of knowing at this point, and then I went into a spiral about how fucking pointless this whole college thing is. I mean, I’ve gotten this far into it and I can’t say that I’ve learned anything of value. And I’m really starting to resent the ELCA. Like if they had a fucking clue what they were doing, they would’ve sent me straight into seminary two years ago when I actually wanted to go. Instead, they made me waste a buncha time on a BA that has no value, during which I got so annoyed with the process that I’m now questioning whether the ELCA is even worth it. Make no mistake – I love Jesus and I want to be in His church, but is the ELCA the right one?

The ELCA, at this writing, is managing to keep from collapsing, but only a little. It’s firmly caught on the two horns of the millennials who want to change everything – ya know, make the church open, inclusive and welcoming to all God’s children – and the baby boomers, who are doing everything they can to prevent that from happening. If it can survive long enough for most of the old guard to get out of the way, the ELCA might be able to become a church that can serve …well, by that point it might not matter. Society is crumbling after all. But if the US hasn’t splintered into warring tribes by then, the millenials might be able to drag the hoary old ELCA into the 21st century.

But why? And why would I bother to go to seminary now, to waste a lotta time being trained to serve the church of the past? Seriously, I attended a Zoom thing – conference? something – recently that was supposed to be about the future of the church and the only thing I can remember is that several people said that if you’re in seminary now, you’re becoming qualified to lead the church of the past. Brilliant. Lovely.

Ya know who values higher education? The world. The world values higher education. Higher education is one of the things of the world. ” Do not love the world or the things in the world. The love of the Father is not in those who love the world; for all that is in the world—the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, the pride in riches—comes not from the Father but from the world.” 1 John 2:15-17.

Fuque. Class hasn’t even started – as far as I know – and I already have zero confidence in this seminary.

And at some point, while I was thinking about just quitting the whole project, I thought “And then what?” And that sucked because I don’t know and then what. I don’t know what I’d do in that case.

I have not yet been able to convince myself that God didn’t call me to ministry. And I heard Him clearly say “Lutheran”. I can’t imagine he wanted me to associate with the misogynist homophobes over at the LCMS, so the ELCA is it.

But would God want me to be miserable? Or to have this much antipathy to the church He called me to? How does that make any sense?

At the moment, I just don’t know. So I’m going to have to sit with it. I guess I’ll find out when the seminary’s deadline is to drop classes and not have to pay for them and I’ll make a decision before that.


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