I am learning.
Since August I have learned so much. But I am still learning. Most of all, I am being taught how disastrous a failure I am, though not through a teacher but through my own choices. And though my short comings have often left me hopeless up to this point in my life, I have slowly been recognizing that it is through the things in me which I despise so greatly that I grow to love Christ so much more, for being everything that I am not.
An obvious failure has been this blog. I have found that Bible college grants me much creative thought and then zaps my creative flow. I think it's partially because I'm learning so much every day about how God is and how I am, and it's overwhelming. I also think it's because I have homework pretty much every day. And Bible school homework isn't the same as typical academic homework. It's easier and harder at the same time. Easier because the topics are usually more capable of keeping my attention than algebra ever was. But also harder, because every historical narrative in the Bible is densely saturated with truth. The "school" in Bible school has been teaching me how to unpack Truth correctly, something I never knew could be so important.
Right now, I'm sitting on my bottom bunk, which is actually much higher than normal bunk beds, and I'm chewing Big Red. I never liked this gum growing up. I kind of have the mouth of a four-year-old. That little girl that hates all things spicy and all things vegetable? Yeah that's me. I don't even like soda (that was for all my non-northern friends). When I was a kid the carbonation "hurt" my mouth. So now I don't have the taste for it. And it was the same with all things cinnamon; I just couldn't handle the flame engulfing my taste buds.
And yet, here I sit enjoying a piece of stale Big Red, for which I fed the vending machine by the dining hall $0.30. And sometimes I even drink carbonated beverages these days. When there's nothing else to drink.
I've been thinking about the words of the Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 13: "When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things."
I recently listened to a teacher reference this verse in a new light, and it brought me a tension that I'm still wrestling with. His challenge was short but profound. Essentially he posed a question to our class: "How are you doing with putting away the things of your childhood? Things like, the way you think, the way you respond, the way you spend your time?"
Now, I know there are a few things that I do not do anymore. Things that consumed hours of my life as a ten year old, or even a tenth-grader. But I've never even thought about the childish things that I do and think right now. And when I started thinking about it, there are so many things. An example would be how I respond to correction, and I'm talking thought response, not just outright actions.
It's been a few days now, and I'm at work for the day. Saturdays can be long sometimes, being here open to close. But today is calm, especially compared to Friday night since we have music and it's loud sometimes...particularly when the entertainment is bagpipes. I'm actually really enjoying the day. No doubt we'll have snow before this month is up, but right now I'm just taking in the glorious sun as much as possible. I walked to work this morning! On my way here I was just thinking about how good the Lord is, and to be honest my mind was too ADD to focus consistently for much more than ten steps. But what I did comprehend about Him thrilled my face off.
I was thinking about how Christ's sacrifice on the cross provided for a new kind of relationship between God and the people He created. Even though our sin has left us estranged and always running, running in search of anything that will make life worth being alive...even though our condition of depravity is steadily growing more and more wicked...even still, Christ's sacrifice was outside of time. He took on the full wrath of God for all time.
And this relationship I mentioned, it's special. It's a Father-son/Father-daughter relationship. For some, that's horrible news because, our dad's are sinners too, and they have not been good fathers. What does a good father look like anyway?? I'm learning that I cannot look to those co-depraved along side me for hope on this fallen earth. They will only fail me. They will inevitably disappoint me sooner or later.
But God, He's...different. SO different. I think that's the problem with the Christian faith here in the West. The existence of God is rejected because He doesn't fit the glove of common understanding. But I guess that's just a huge relief for me, because this world is screwed up. I'm at school in a town that is very disturbing at times. And I know that it's nothing compared to a million other places in the world.
So I guess I'm just so happy that God doesn't think the same way as me: childish. It's awesome to me that He gives narrative after narrative in the Old Testament revealing who He is and what He's like...as in, how He works with us. EVEN ME! In my sinful thought process and frustrated selfishness.
This blog has been added to slowly over the last couple of weeks, like a rough paper that's been marked in red several times over. And there's this other kind of draft outside these days. It whips through my undecidedly shoulder-length hair and then flies away in whatever direction. Isn't it strange to think that the air I breathe here in Michigan could at some point enter your lungs where you are?