Wednesday, October 26, 2005

"Once more into the breach, dear friends..."

So I haven't posted in like a month. Sorry folks, for those of you that care. That being said, I just got back from my class at Harvard. Today was a good day in many ways. Got some work done, helped out a friend with her theology paper, went to class and talked to the teaching fellow after section. He is doing his doctorate in American Religious History there, and it turns out that he is a Gordon-Conwell dude like myself, and that there is actually a fair number of us at the Div school. At least amongst the people who are doing history... This relieved a recurring fear of mine: systematic and ideological exclusion of evangelical/orthodox/conservative Christians from the Ivies, or at the very least from Harvard Div. That being said, huge numbers of people apply there yearly, and what I want to work on may be nowhere near what anyone there is intertested in, so I am not setting my hopes on going to Harvard. But...what a concept huh? Delusions of grandeur sure are fun...That being said, Boston University was referred to as 'confessional' and 'a school where they pray in class' and of coure Boston College would be a better place to study virtue ethics, (c'mon, Peter Kreeft calls it home, it doesn't get much better than that!) So yeah...Harvard isn't the end-all be-all. It's just a pretty face... with millions of dollars...and a list of connections that would make Ma Bell blush. Speaking of our dear Catholic brother, Mr. Kreeft, I would recommed a nice little book of his called "Back to Virtue" Not only does it give a run down of classical Christian virtue ethics (did you know the 7 deadly sins have their opposites, the 7 cardinal virtues? Or that doing the right thing can feel great and not be fattening?) When you read the book you can detect a pastoral geniality and playfulness that makes it most enjoyable, almost as if sat down every day to work on it with smirk on his face. That being said, I have not been virtuous lately. My old laptop finally went belly up, and I have been without a computer for about a month now. Of course, this was a very convenient excuse to now we have the Semester half over, and not nearly enough reading and writing done. There is also the 'deer in the headlights' factor. Last year was the first year in my life that I have even gotten straight A's, and now that this year has gotten off to such a lurching start, I wonder if I can keep this up. I moved up to the coast, which, while beautiful, places me a significant distance from my school, and my friends. I have been working way too much, and everything has just been slipping...slipping quite badly actually. Now the good part. To be quite honest, to those of you that know me, you know I am highly skeptical of 'vision language' as way too 'pop Christianity' for my taste. Casting vision, being a visionary, regaining a vision, yadda yadda yadda. However, just as God has been giving the divine impatient-snort-and-raised-eyebrow to my other cynicisms and pretentions for the past year, so He has with this one. As I sat there one evening wallowing in self-doubt, my untouched books surrounding me like a pack of intellectual hyenas, I realized I had let my fear and insecurities blur out what I want to do. I hate to use psychologized language, but it sometimes is helpful and explanatory (or perhaps I just lack to the vocabulary as of yet to say it any other way!) To put it simply, I had to 'recover my vision' (gaahhh! yeeech! get it off! i feel dirty!) I had to keep the main thing the main thing. What the hell am I about? Where do I want to go? What am I good at? Where can I express that? From what pulpit can I preach the Gospel while I quip about the quality of beer in Seatle? I am tempted to say this was an awakening on a merely natural level, but, bless it's little snow-covered-dung-heap of a heart, I don't think it would be very Reformed of me to say that. There was no 'visionary' experience proper, just a steady Sense of A Question from the One, that for a moment blotted out the cacophony in my mind: "What are you about? What do you think I AM about?" The latter we will all spend eternity figuring out. Nonetheless, for me, the former is like the latter. The God we will spend eternity 'figuring out' (it seems almost a vulgarity to put it that way now that I think of it, as if He would ever stand for being put into a beaker for such an objective treatment!) I want to get a head start on right now... Further Up, Further In. I would like a PhD at a fantastic institution thank you very much Lord. "Once more into the breach, dear friends..." To the Holy Roller-ization of the hallowed halls of Harvard, the Pentecostalizing of Princeton, and a Charismatic Cambridge. Amen. In all seriousness, do pray for me and the other folks out here, this place can be very draining spiritually and physiologically. There is no rest, and there won't be for two more years yet. I had to steel myself with that realization. I will be working 25 hours a week at Starbucks, expected to get straight A's, minister in my church, and be happy about it for another two years. Funny...Working 12 hour days in a library for 5 years on a doctorate almost seems too bon vivant for me...Cheers everyone, I love you all.


Blogger Carrie said...

It's about damn time you caught everyone up on what's going on in your life. ;)

12:30 PM  

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