Sometime during Winter 2009, I met my friend Thom. In one of our initial conversations as Regent rookies, we asked each other the usual questions: Where are you from? What were you doing before Regent? Are you in MDiv or MCS? What do you hope to do after Regent? etc. Thom told me that after his undergrad degree in Mechanical Engineering, he got a Masters in Engineering Management, and then he went into actuarial profession and got all the designations. Surprised, I said, “How’s that possible? I thought those designations take years!” “They did take years! How old do you think I am?” said he who looks 24.
When Sherrien, another good friend of mine first told me that the Regent MCS will be her fourth degree, my first thought was that I’ve met the female version of Thom. After her undergraduate degree in Psychology in HK, she went to Cambridge for a year and obtained her Masters degree in Criminology, and then she went back to HK and studied for a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. No, it’s not because she didn’t know where her passion lay; it just happened like that. Sometimes people do not or cannot (consciously) steer the course of their life. The spontaneity is part of the game.
Having said the above, I would like to venture a guess as to the subconscious process that led Thom and Sherrien (and many others) to their multiple degrees. People go to (grad) school for many reasons. If nothing else, I believe these brave souls must have tendencies of wondering at questions that life throws at him, and as a result, like to think, learn, and produce some form of conclusion and modification of their life. This, to me, appears to be something common to the Regent guys and dolls. When we decided to come here, we’ve not just been given the opportunity to think and study, but the opportunity to think and study what we love for the One we love. Here is the place to experience the pleasure of learning, reflecting, and giving birth to new ways of approaching life, people, and ministry.
The Christian imagery of “living water” represents eternal life in an active and daring spirit. It is never a dormant mind. A famous Chinese emperor of the Chin Dynasty said, “A person’s face turns detestable if he goes three days without reading.” Here at Regent, among many things, we emphasize on “worshipping with the mind”. I don’t know about you, but I can get lazy when there’s not a driving force behind me (i.e. grades). The difference in effort is made obvious in my relaxed attitude when I audit Hebrew, compared to the time when I was taking it for credit.
I beseech thee, my fellow Regent friends, though you might not go on to further studies, don’t ever stop observing, thinking, and changing yourselves. Don’t ever become a pool of stagnant water, norbecontentwithanythinglessthanthe best of what your mind has to offer through the Holy Spirit. Maintain the “Soul of Regent” by reading critically, conversing intelligently, taking classes and attending conferences. I have decided to extend the pleasure in the best three years of my life by cultivating these new habits I’ve acquired, which, together with my degree, are the best gifts given to me.