Jamin Hubner (cool name!) posted something I found amusing over at Aomin. I’m reprinting it here for full effect. You’ll see why in a minute.
Too funny. It’s reached critical mass. I have to share.
Here are some of the responses I’ve gotten over the last year when people have asked me what I do and I reply by telling them “I’m a seminary student”:
- A Sri Lankan engineering student: “Oh, so, you like have the whole Bible memorized!?!”
- A friend of a friend: “Oh, yeah, my uncle was into geology.”
- A small-town farmer: “Reaaaaaally? Well. Put in a good word for me when you get up to heaven with St. Peter!”
- Everyone else: “Oh, I see.” (A short stare, and then silence.)
So I’ve decided I have absolutely no idea what the world thinks a seminary student is, or what they do. Some days, I don’t know either.
But, I thought I’d give a warning: before you go to seminary, be prepared for no one else to understand. You’ve thought you’ve gained an identity, but really, you’ve lost all identity. Ultimately, you’re just a strange person. A very, very strange person.
There you go. I posted this because I encountered reactions which were similar to what Mr. Hubner experienced. Back in 2000, I went to seminary after seven years of working in the secular world. So, here’s my version of “the responses I’ve gotten over the last year when people have asked me what I do and I reply by telling them “I’m a seminary student.”
- From practically everybody: “What?”
- Again, from practically everybody: Maniacal laughter. (The kinder ones just smiled.)
- Again, from Nos. 1 & 2: “Why?”
- My personal favorite, from someone who will remain anonymous: “Your father and I didn’t slave through life putting food on the table so you become a missionary.” (Or something like that. It was first uttered in Chinese, so the translation’s a bit off.)
- My next personal favorite: “You’re going to do something that the rest of us cannot do.” A plain reading of that last statement might indicate that entering seminary is so grand and such a high calling that only a few can hope to attain it. I thought that too, until I remember the guy who said that snickering when he finished. So maybe a better reading of his statement would be: “You’re going to do something that the rest of us wouldn’t even dream of doing.”