Well, here I am with one week to go before the official induction for research students. I am ready to learn lots of very interesting things which will better equip me (I hope!) for this crazy research journey.
The induction also includes what would be my third library tour in four years. But as the box full of books in this picture shows, I think I have got the hang of the college library now…I do seem to have a ridiculous number of borrowed books! (And, yes, I did sign them all out properly. )
This picture is included as part of my ongoing books update stories. My readers seem to like these updates best of all. (I’m not always sure why I try to comment intelligently on leadership learnings, you know… I think you prefer the photos of my messy book-strewn house!)
Anyway, as you will see, the picture does not exclusively comprise books. It is the accumulation of things which need to go to college this week. Books, yes.
But also a desk lamp for those winter afternoons when the dark obscurity outside is a metaphor for the dark obscurity in my mind. Sadly, this is not a magic lamp. It will not help with darkness and confusion in my mind – only prayer might sort that one out!
A clock makes its appearance too. That probably tells you that I’m a bit OCD – as well as an ex-lawyer in whom the recording of time in six-minute intervals has been deeply engrained! I like to know the time and I work to schedules and routines. Hmm, I sound really quite sad and boring now. But it’s pink which at least makes it fun?!
There’s also half a lecture series that I delivered last year, in the hope that I might get round to printing out the other half and filing it all together.
And coffee. Coffee is an essential for both halves of my life – student and church leader. (Insert joke here about what us church leaders do all day!) But note that this is not just any coffee. It’s filter coffee strength 5 with cafetière. When drowning in a sea of confusion and when nothing else helps, I’m thinking that a pot of strong coffee might at least prove a distraction, especially if I can convince someone else to leave their research to come drink it with me.
So that’s it – the essentials for the pastor-cum-research student. Two days (or three when I can squeeze the schedule!) at college trying to figure out quite what I’ve let myself in for here, and then the rest of the week trying to be a pastor. God, prayer and coffee as the themes which flow through and bind it all together. And, yes, a lot of water-walking.
By the way, how’s your water-walking been going lately? Did you get out of the boat or are you still thinking about it? I’d love to hear from you in the comments box if you’re up for sharing your water-walking experiences…