A few days ago I got my review copy of Brennan Manning’s memoir. Once again something he wrote has shown up at the right time with all the grace God can muster. Let me explain.

I have an M. Div. For those who don’t know, it’s a pretty intense course of study. Greek and Hebrew are the two specters waiting for every student who dares to enter. And those were some of my easier subjects. The hours work out to be similar to the hours of Med School. And while in Med School you lose a lot of sleep. In seminary every class offers conviction, guilt and inadequacy. There are no “light” classes. But like so many others, I got through it, mercifully.

But now I’m a banker.

Did I waste my time and money?

As I read through the memories of Brennan Manning, I see something. Actually, you don’t even have to read the book. Just look at the cover of this memoir of a divorced ex-priest and persistent alcoholic. The title is All Is Grace. He has this crazy idea that his life – so full of difficulty and pain (a ridiculously hateful mother and alcoholic father) is all grace. None of it wasted. Not the bad. Not the pain. Not the loneliness. Not even his own sins are wasted in God’s economy.

All is grace.

God is the original recycler and repurposer. He takes it all and magically works it like those people who can find a use for anything and everything. I don’t even understand those people. I just kinda look at them in wonder wishing I could see what they see before they mold what looks like a mess into reality.

I can see so little. So I don’t rightly know how he is going to do this. I don’t know how it’s all going to work or how he will use an M. Div. in the life of a banker. Maybe it will show up in this blog. Maybe in more books. Maybe, just maybe it took a seminary training and years of ministry before I could enter the business world with my head on straight…loving God and neighbor in the thick of it.

Hmmm, I wonder….regardless, all is grace. And I would not trade my degree from Covenant Theological Seminary for any other.

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