Durante tu tiempo en el seminario te verás frente a una inmensa ola de proyectos que entregar y tareas que escribir. Y será fácil descuidar la fidelidad por la excelencia académica, o lo que realmente tiene valor eterno por reconocimiento temporal. Así que, quisiera darte seis cosas que recordar durante tu tiempo en el seminario: Sigue leyendo
La segunda mitad de la maestría
Hace un año y medio decidí dejar la casa de mi padre y madre, comodidades y promesas, para mudarme a una tierra que, aunque ya había visitado previamente, era completamente extraña para un joven prácticamente recién graduado de la universidad. El 17 de Agosto del 2012, mi dirección dejó de ser Guadalajara para ser Hollywood. Cambié mi coche nuevo por una bicicleta, y el trabajo de oficina por una esponja y una toalla para la limpieza de baños en el turno nocturno. Abandoné los servicios de una cama recién hecha y ropa siempre doblada, sin mencionar todas las comidas calientes que mi madre amada nos preparaba (como se me hace agua la boca al recordar aquellos platillos que ningún libro de receta jamás tendrá, ya que el sazón que tenían no se puede comprar, pues eran hechos con amor y dulzura); por una cama dura de litera y una cocina compartida con otros ocho jóvenes que, al igual que yo, están aquí con el mismo propósito.
¿Y qué es lo que estamos haciendo aquí? Estudiando un libro. Un solo libro. Pero este libro no es como cualquier libro, no. No es parecido, ni puede compararse ni a la obra más destacada de Shakespeare, Aquino, Confucio, o Wilde. Esté libro que estudiamos está compuesto por sesenta y seis libros que a su vez están divididos por capítulos. Amán quiso erradicarlo, Herodes trató de detenerlo, la Iglesia Católica Romana por algún tiempo quiso ocultarlo, Nitezsche pronunció muerte al autor, Hitler se propuso cortarlo, y Descartes y Voltaire lo consideraron basura. La historia testifica su oposición, ya que durante los últimos cuatro mil años ha sido atacado por un lado y por otro. Sí, así es. Decidí dedicar estos años—años en los cuales se espera que uno viaje, explore, disfrute de placeres y emociones—a convertirme en un ermitaño. Pasando horas a la vez estudiando más acerca de este libro: ¿Cómo nos llegó? ¿De dónde vino? ¿Quién fue su Autor? ¿Cómo es Él? ¿Cómo han tratado este libro a través de la historia? ¿Cómo se compara a la realidad? Y más importante aún: ¿Qué es lo que enseña?
¿Ridículo? Sí, para el mundo lo es; y aún más, es un desperdicio de vida y recursos. Pero, oh querido lector, sábete que no siembro para cosechar en esta tierra, pues todo lo que hoy es mañana dejará de ser. No, en cambio, siembro en campos que darán fruto aún después que yo cierre mis ojos y vaya a morar al hogar que Dios mismo ha preparado para mí. Sí, mi querido lector, el libro que estudio es la Biblia, libro divinamente inspirado por el Dios Creador de los cielos y la tierra. Sí, mi querido lector, me he perdido en sus páginas para nunca más volver.
Me queda un año y medio para concluir mis estudios en la Maestría en Divinidad. Y si Dios lo permite, planeo quedarme a estudiar una segunda maestría, la Maestría en Teología con enfoque en Teología Sistemática.
Les escribo sentado en un avión, pasando por encima de Colorado, rumbo a California después de haber pasado una de esas Navidades que recordaré por los años venideros. Y bueno, así comienza la segunda mitad…
Oh Dios, mi Señor, mi Rey, mi Amado, al escribir recuerdo dos cosas: Primeramente recuerdo los caminos de pecado y maldad en los cuales vagaba, como los demás en esta generación; pero tal pensamiento se convierte en gozo inexplicable al recordar tu amor y tu consuelo en haberme rescatado de mi anterior posición, el de ser receptor de la ira venidera de Dios. Segundo, recuerdo mi infancia y lo mucho que extraño a mis padres, hermanos, y familia. Dios, Tú sabes de mi amor hacia ellos, dame consuelo en este sentir. Así que, en base a esto te pido que me recuerdes de los tesoros celestiales los cuales en mi falta de fe dejo de apreciar. Te pido que me des fortaleza y renueves mi alma al comenzar este semestre, pues Tú mejor que nadie sabes lo cansado y agotado que ya me siento. Y finalmente te ruego por mi familia, que de la misma forma; no, aún más, Tú continúes moldeando sus corazones a la semejanza de Cristo.
Fling him into his office. Lock him up with his books and his Bible. Slam him down on his knees before a holy God and a holy text and broken hearts and a superficial clock. Force him to be the one in our surfeited communities who knows about the One true God. Throw him into the ring to box with God until he learns how short his arms are.Engage him to wrestle with God all the night through. And let him come out only when he is bruised and beaten into being a blessing.
Shut his mouth forever from sprouting remarks, and stop his tongue forever from tripping lightly over every nonessential. Require him to have something to say before he dares break the silence. Bend his knees in the lonesome valley. Burn his eyes with weary study. Wreck his emotional poise with worry for God. And make him spend and be spent for the glory of God. Take away his cell phone. Burn up his ecclesiastical success sheets. Give him a Bible and tie him to the pulpit. And make him preach the Word of the living God! Test him. Quiz him. Examine him. Humiliate him for his ignorance of things divine. Shame him for his good comprehension of finances, batting averages, and political in-fighting. Laugh at his frustrated effort to play psychiatrist. Form a choir and raise a chant and haunt him with it night and day: “Sir, we would see Jesus.”
When at long last he dares assay the pulpit, ask him if he has word from the One true God. If he does not, then dismiss him. Tell him you can read the morning paper and digest the television commentaries, and think through the day’superficial problems, and manage the community’s weary drives, and bless the sordid baked potatoes and green beans, ad infinitum, better than he can. Command him not to come back until he’s read ad reread, written and rewritten, until he can stand up, worn and forlorn, and say, “Thus saith The Lord.” Break him across the board of his ill-gotten popularity. Smack him hard with his own prestige. Corner him with questions about the One true God. Cover him with demands for celestial wisdom. And give him no escape until he’s back against the wall of the Word. And sit down before him and listen to the only word he has left – God’s Word. Let him be totally ignorant of the down-street gossip, but give him a chapter and order him to walk around it, camp on it, sup with it, and come at last to speak it backward and forward, until all he says about it rings with the truth of eternity.
And when he is burned out by the flaming Word, when he is consumed at last by the fiery grace blazing through him, and when he is privileged to translate the truth of God to man, finally transferred from earth to Heaven, then bear him away gently and blow a muted trumpet and lay him down softly. Place a two-edged sword in his coffin, and raise the tomb triumphant. For he was a brave soldier of the Word, and before he died, he had become a man of God.
To labour in the dark, without an assured commission, greatly obscures the warrant of faith in the Divine engagements; and the Minister, unable to avail himself of heavenly support, feels his “hands hand down, and his knees feeble” in his work. On the other hand, the confidence that he is acting in obedience to the call of God–that he is in His work, and in his way–nerves him in the midst of all difficulty, and under a sense of his responsible obligation, with almighty strength.
– Charles Bridges, The Christian Ministry
- Not to receive any fixed salary, both because in the collecting of it there was often much that was at variance with the freewill offering with which God’s service is to be maintained, and in the receiving of it a danger of placing more dependence on human sources of income than in the living God Himself.
- Never to ask any human being for help, however great the need might be, but to make his wants known to the God who has promised to care for His servants and to hear their prayer.
- To take this command (Luke 12: 33) literally, ‘Sell that thou hast and give alms,’ and never to save up money, but to spend all God entrusted to him on God’s poor, on the work of His kingdom.
- Also to take Romans 8: 8, ‘Owe no man anything,’ literally, and never to buy on credit, or be in debt for anything, but to trust God to provide. This mode of living was not easy at first. But Muller testifies it was most blessed in bringing the soul to rest in God, and drawing it into closer union with Himself when inclined to backslide. ‘For it will not do, it is not possible, to live in sin, and at the same time, by communion with God, to draw down from heaven everything one needs for the life that now is.’”
For it will not do, it is not possible, to live in sin, and at the same time, by communion with God, to draw down from heaven everything one needs for the life that now is.
Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God’s help, I do humbly entreat him by his grace to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to his will, for Christ’s sake.
1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God’s glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriad’s of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many and how great soever.
2. Resolved, to be continually endeavoring to find out some new invention and contrivance to promote the aforementioned things.
3. Resolved, if ever I shall fall and grow dull, so as to neglect to keep any part of these Resolutions, to repent of all I can remember, when I come to myself again.
4. Resolved, never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God; nor be, nor suffer it, if I can avoid it.
5. Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.
6. Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.
7. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.
8. Resolved, to act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God.
9. Resolved, to think much on all occasions of my own dying, and of the common circumstances which attend death.
10. Resolved, when I feel pain, to think of the pains of martyrdom, and of hell.
11. Resolved, when I think of any theorem in divinity to be solved, immediately to do what I can towards solving it, if circumstances don’t hinder.
12. Resolved, if I take delight in it as a gratification of pride, or vanity, or on any such account, immediately to throw it by.
13. Resolved, to be endeavoring to find out fit objects of charity and liberality.
14. Resolved, never to do anything out of revenge.
15. Resolved, never to suffer the least motions of anger to irrational beings.
16. Resolved, never to speak evil of anyone, so that it shall tend to his dishonor, more or less, upon no account except for some real good.
17. Resolved, that I will live so as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.
18. Resolved, to live so at all times, as I think is best in my devout frames, and when I have clearest notions of things of the gospel, and another world.
19. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if I expected it would not be above an hour, before I should hear the last trump.
20. Resolved, to maintain the strictest temperance in eating and drinking.
21. Resolved, never to do anything, which if I should see in another, I should count a just occasion to despise him for, or to think any way the more meanly of him.
22. Resolved, to endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness, in the other world, as I possibly can, with all the power; might, vigor, and vehemence, yea violence, I am capable of, or can bring myself to exert, in any way that can be thought of.
23. Resolved, frequently to take some deliberate action, which seems most unlikely to be done, for the glory of God, and trace it back to the original intention, designs and ends of it; and if I find it not to be for God’s glory, to repute it as a breach of the 4th Resolution.
24. Resolved, whenever I do any conspicuously evil action, to trace it back, till I come to the original cause; and then both carefully endeavor to do so no more, and to fight and pray with all my might against the original of it.
25. Resolved, to examine carefully, and constantly, what that one thing in me is, which causes me in the least to doubt of the love of God; and to direct all my forces against it.
26. Resolved, to cast away such things, as I find do abate my assurance.
27. Resolved, never willfully to omit anything, except the omission be for the glory of God; and frequently to examine my omissions.
28. Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.
29. Resolved, never to count that a prayer, nor to let that pass as a prayer, nor that as a petition of a prayer, which is so made, that I cannot hope that God will answer it; nor that as a confession, which I cannot hope God will accept.
30. Resolved, to strive to my utmost every week to be brought higher in religion, and to a higher exercise of grace, than I was the week before.
31. Resolved, never to say anything at all against anybody, but when it is
perfectly agreeable to the highest degree of Christian honor, and of love to mankind, agreeable to the lowest humility, and sense of my own faults and failings, and agreeable to the golden rule; often, when I have said anything against anyone, to bring it to, and try it strictly by the test of this Resolution.
32. Resolved, to be strictly and firmly faithful to my trust, that that in Prov. 20:6, “A faithful man who can find?” may not be partly fulfilled in me.
33. Resolved, always to do what I can towards making, maintaining, establishing and preserving peace, when it can be without over-balancing detriment in other respects. Dec.26, 1722.
34. Resolved, in narration’s never to speak anything but the pure and simple verity.
35. Resolved, whenever I so much question whether I have done my duty, as that my quiet and calm is thereby disturbed, to set it down, and also how the question was resolved. Dec. 18, 1722.
36. Resolved, never to speak evil of any, except I have some particular good call for it. Dec. 19, 1722.
37. Resolved, to inquire every night, as I am going to bed, wherein I have been negligent, what sin I have committed, and wherein I have denied myself: also at the end of every week, month and year. Dec.22 and 26, 1722.
38. Resolved, never to speak anything that is ridiculous, sportive, or matter of laughter on the Lord’s day. Sabbath evening, Dec. 23, 1722.
39. Resolved, never to do anything that I so much question the lawfulness of, as that I intend, at the same time, to consider and examine afterwards, whether it be lawful or no; except I as much question the lawfulness of the omission.
40. Resolved, to inquire every night, before I go to bed, whether I have acted in the best way I possibly could, with respect to eating and drinking. Jan. 7, 1723.
41. Resolved, to ask myself at the end of every day, week, month and year, wherein I could possibly in any respect have done better. Jan. 11, 1723.
42. Resolved, frequently to renew the dedication of myself to God, which was made at my baptism; which I solemnly renewed, when I was received into the communion of the church; and which I have solemnly re-made this twelfth day of January, 1722-23.
43. Resolved, never henceforward, till I die, to act as if I were any way my own, but entirely and altogether God’s, agreeable to what is to be found in Saturday, January 12. Jan.12, 1723.
44- Resolved, that no other end but religion, shall have any influence at all on any of my actions; and that no action shall be, in the least circumstance, any otherwise than the religious end will carry it. Jan.12, 1723.
45. Resolved, never to allow any pleasure or grief, joy or sorrow, nor any affection at all, nor any degree of affection, nor any circumstance relating to it, but what helps religion. Jan.12 and 13.1723.
46. Resolved, never to allow the least measure of any fretting uneasiness at my father or mother. Resolved to suffer no effects of it, so much as in the least alteration of speech, or motion of my eve: and to be especially careful of it, with respect to any of our family.
47. Resolved, to endeavor to my utmost to deny whatever is not most agreeable to a good, and universally sweet and benevolent, quiet, peaceable, contented, easy, compassionate, generous, humble, meek, modest, submissive, obliging, diligent and industrious, charitable, even, patient, moderate, forgiving, sincere temper; and to do at all times what such a temper would lead me to. Examine strictly every week, whether I have done so. Sabbath morning. May 5,1723.
48. Resolved, constantly, with the utmost niceness and diligence, and the strictest scrutiny, to be looking into the state of my soul, that I may know whether I have truly an interest in Christ or no; that when I come to die, I may not have any negligence respecting this to repent of. May 26, 1723.
49. Resolved, that this never shall be, if I can help it.
50. Resolved, I will act so as I think I shall judge would have been best, and most prudent, when I come into the future world. July 5, 1723.
51. Resolved, that I will act so, in every respect, as I think I shall wish I had done, if I should at last be damned. July 8, 1723.
52. I frequently hear persons in old age say how they would live, if they were to live their lives over again: Resolved, that I will live just so as I can think I shall wish I had done, supposing I live to old age. July 8, 1723.
53. Resolved, to improve every opportunity, when I am in the best and happiest frame of mind, to cast and venture my soul on the Lord Jesus Christ, to trust and confide in him, and consecrate myself wholly to him; that from this I may have assurance of my safety, knowing that I confide in my Redeemer. July 8, 1723.
54. Whenever I hear anything spoken in conversation of any person, if I think it would be praiseworthy in me, Resolved to endeavor to imitate it. July 8, 1723.
55. Resolved, to endeavor to my utmost to act as I can think I should do, if I had already seen the happiness of heaven, and hell torments. July 8, 1723.
56. Resolved, never to give over, nor in the least to slacken my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.
57. Resolved, when I fear misfortunes and adversities, to examine whether ~ have done my duty, and resolve to do it; and let it be just as providence orders it, I will as far as I can, be concerned about nothing but my duty and my sin. June 9, and July 13 1723.
58. Resolved, not only to refrain from an air of dislike, fretfulness, and anger in conversation, but to exhibit an air of love, cheerfulness and benignity. May27, and July 13, 1723.
59. Resolved, when I am most conscious of provocations to ill nature and anger, that I will strive most to feel and act good-naturedly; yea, at such times, to manifest good nature, though I think that in other respects it would be disadvantageous, and so as would be imprudent at other times. May 12, July ii, and July 13.
60. Resolved, whenever my feelings begin to appear in the least out of order, when I am conscious of the least uneasiness within, or the least irregularity without, I will then subject myself to the strictest examination. July 4, and 13, 1723.
61. Resolved, that I will not give way to that listlessness which I find unbends and relaxes my mind from being fully and fixedly set on religion, whatever excuse I may have for it-that what my listlessness inclines me to do, is best to be done, etc. May 21, and July 13, 1723.
62. Resolved, never to do anything but duty; and then according to Eph. 6:6-8, do it willingly and cheerfully as unto the Lord, and not to man; “knowing that whatever good thing any man doth, the same shall he receive of the Lord.” June 25 and July 13, 1723.
63. On the supposition, that there never was to be but one individual in the world, at any one time, who was properly a complete Christian, in all respects of a right stamp, having Christianity always shining in its true luster, and appearing excellent and lovely, from whatever part and under whatever character viewed: Resolved, to act just as I would do, if I strove with all my might to be that one, who should live in my time. Jan.14′ and July ’3′ 1723.
64. Resolved, when I find those “groanings which cannot be uttered” (Rom. 8:26), of which the Apostle speaks, and those “breakings of soul for the longing it hath,” of which the Psalmist speaks, Psalm 119:20, that I will promote them to the utmost of my power, and that I will not be wear’, of earnestly endeavoring to vent my desires, nor of the repetitions of such earnestness. July 23, and August 10, 1723.
65. Resolved, very much to exercise myself in this all my life long, viz. with the greatest openness I am capable of, to declare my ways to God, and lay open my soul to him: all my sins, temptations, difficulties, sorrows, fears, hopes, desires, and every thing, and every circumstance; according to Dr. Manton’s 27th Sermon on Psalm 119. July 26, and Aug.10 1723.
66. Resolved, that I will endeavor always to keep a benign aspect, and air of acting and speaking in all places, and in all companies, except it should so happen that duty requires otherwise.
67. Resolved, after afflictions, to inquire, what I am the better for them, what good I have got by them, and what I might have got by them.
68. Resolved, to confess frankly to myself all that which I find in myself, either infirmity or sin; and, if it be what concerns religion, also to confess the whole case to God, and implore needed help. July 23, and August 10, 1723.
69. Resolved, always to do that, which I shall wish I had done when I see others do it. Aug. 11, 1723.
70. Let there be something of benevolence, in all that I speak.
“People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated.”