“The reason it’s called Baby Greek is because you cry like a baby trying to figure it out.” A not-Greek-teaching prof encouraged me with this phrase last week as I struggled to make it through middle/passive verb forms. Since I’m highly motivated to learn Greek, I work on it a lot. Parsing basic grammar out of simple sentences brings in one moment sheer elation, and in another deep, dark, utter frustration. I haven’t cried yet, but I often feel like a big baby.
So, as I head to class last Friday, feeling only semi-prepared for the quiz ahead, my sweaty palms grip the steering wheel while I recite the latest “memory paradigm.” Part way through I stop and force myself to express a measure of thanks and faith. “God, You invented Greek, You’ve given me the mind of Christ, please, help me.” I pray for His peace…not just get through the quiz peace, but the kind that says, “I’m trusting You with something I cannot do on my own, leaning into and upon You no matter what.” For a split-second I feel it – calm reassurance. Then my stomach gurgles and I remember that I might forget everything I studied, so I fall back to my memory work.
This roller coaster ride , by the way, is a huge part of this whole seminary experience.
On top of wrestling with Aorist Passive Tense, I’m having a bad-hair day, the clothes I set out the night before don’t match the chilly weather, and every single stinkin’ stop light on my 35 minute drive is red! I’m on the edge of being late for said quiz. By the time I finally reach campus I must make a pit stop. I don’t even remove my backpack.
Once I finally made it to class (no, I wasn’t late) I was literally shaking! What is wrong with me?! I feel so vulnerable and weak sometimes, which I am.
So, the prof waves a legal pad and says, “Today’s quiz – write your name on this pad.” An audible sense of relief floats across the room and erupts into pure joy. My body relaxes, the pressure in my brain relents, and almost laugh out loud…He knew all along! The Lord has such a sense of humor, and He provided peace in such an obvious and tangible way…not just for me but for the whole class (at least those who were there).
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, Jesus is real. I love Him for that.