For several months during my time as a seminary student I worked the night shift at a local mirror factory. My title was prism inspector, and for every hour of work I was expected to check about a hundred car rearview mirrors for possible defects. But I was also required to take a ten-minute break each hour, to rest my eyes from intently staring at mirrors for the previous 50 minutes.
During these brief rest periods I would study for my seminary courses. Alongside the stacks of mirrors on my work bench was a small pile of books—Hebrew grammar, church history, systematic theology.
My attempts to cram some studying into my scheduled breaks were often frustrated, however, by the appearance of Jed, the night watchman. Jed always seemed to pass my way just as I was in the middle of some important reading. And he liked to talk.