One of the things that can be easily forgotten about my present lifestyle (with all that's happening in the pastoral sense) is how rigorous the academic pursuits continue to be while I'm still a seminary student. When I speak with people about my schedule, they hear about church work, about the fire dept and the city of Fate. Seldomly do I bring up the long hours I must spend studying and writing papers to complete my remaining courses at Dallas Theological Seminary. In truth, it still occupies the bulk of my time.
Over the summer, I'm taking two consecutive courses in translating, analyzing and interpreting Hebrew. These are monster courses, requiring focused attention and long hours. Yet it can be so difficult to prioritize it when it doesn't receive the same recognition as pastor duties. Some think pastoring can be a thankless job, but it certainly garners more recognition than Hebrew proficiency. It's far more likely that someone will walk up and say, "That was a moving service," or "that was a convicting sermon," or "that was a beautiful prayer" than it is likely that someone will approach me and say, "that was an thorough and competent exegetical analysis of that Hebrew passage."
So self-discipline is what comes into play because exterior motivators will be sparse. We'll see how it goes. It could be said that reliance on God to get through Hebrew is more of a reality than with most other pursuits, since it requires more discipline than with those other tasks, and I have yet to feel as though I'm a well-disciplined man.