I couldn’t talk much of my experiences as a seminarian. Indeed, with barely 9 months in this seminary, my experience is just a glance of the real story. They say that when people are young, they tend to look forward to what may happen because there’s not that much to look back to and as we grow older we tend to look back as there’s no longer so much to look forward to. As a neophyte, there are not yet so many experiences that I can look back to. It’s more of me gazing forward to the wide horizon of seminary life. Yet there are few experiences I can share and bits and pieces of stories to tell…
Life is full of surprises. And to prove you this claim, let me narrate to you what I have experienced inside the four walls of the seminary. I will let you know about my first impression about seminary life, before I entered the seminary that was 9 months ago; I also had the idea and expectations of life within its walls. What I have in mind is that ‘seminary’ is composed of disciplined and holy men. Seminarians do not look at beautiful ladies. I also had this idea that seminarians converse silently with low voice. Seminary atmosphere is always friendly.
However, when the time that I’m one of the men living inside, my expectations and idea of what a seminary has been shattered. Life for me then was a revelation. A seminary is not composed of saintly men and “almost” sinless men. It is still the fact that we are still human beings having the tendency to fall into sin. We also look at beautiful girls with due appreciation (of course!) once in a while. We don’t always converse in low and soft voice; sometimes we are like the people in the market. We even for sometimes have conflicts and quarrels. The way brothers and sisters quarrel at home is the same way seminarians quarrel or even worst! However, the most rewarding part inside the seminary is when we have occasions; a time to unwind and time to relax and to get rid for a while from the so much saddle of studies. A few bottles of beer, vodka, and tequila will do no harm. These are just some of my memorable experiences inside the four walls of the seminary. There are still many to mention. And these give me an insight that life is not about searching for the things that can be found, it’s about letting the unexpected happen and discovering things we never searched for. Having not met our expectations would lead us to the discovery of something nobler, more interesting to know and to expect.
Just like in prayer, God answers our prayers not in our own expectations but always to His will. However, He gives us more than what we expect and more than what we ask. We know what we want, but God knows what is best for all of us.
As I have discovered, seminary is not a place where angels and saints dwell, it is a place where human beings dwell (chosen few) aspiring to become holy.