For three-and-a-half years my father has been telling his friends that his son has been doing his PhD at SAIACS. Interestingly, as SAIACS reopens tomorrow (8 Jan, 2007), I will only now ‘officially’ begin work on my PhD proposal.

All this time, I was doing my preparatory program PDP (6 months). Before that I was interning at SAIACS (1 year). Before that I was doing my MTh (2 years).

So what’s the difference now? Having finally finished my basic PDP requirements (only learning German is left), having finished all my assignments (especially Acts 17, shudder, shudder!) and also finally receiving a confirmation from my mentor that our relationship has officially begun, I know this is the trumpet call! It’s time to ‘start’!

Yet when I received the mail from my mentor informing me that he was officially my mentor, my first reaction was not relief or joy but fear. I was really scared that I’ve finally run out of excuses; there is now nothing really to stop me from going all-out to start-and-finish the PhD dissertation grind.

However, I also remember that when I was returning to Bangalore from my vacation in Mumbai, I knew that no one was forcing me to do my PhD. I could very easily stop it all, run away… and gosh! a part of me would love to.

But I knew God was calling me to choose to stay. I had to choose (and choose again) to do my PhD, at SAIACS. I had to once again recommit to all that lay before me.

And what better time to do it in the New Year – 2007, just as I am about to ‘start’ my Thesis Proposal!

And so, that’s what I’ve done. I face these coming months with new determination. And relief (that I have a mentor) and joy that I’m moving forward in the journey the Lord has laid for me.

Now, uncertainty gives way to determination.  Confusion gives way to growing clarity. Fear makes way for joy.