My first year of Seminary wound to a close yesterday. I slept for about 12 hours last night. The past three days have featured 3 exams per day, with three hours per exam. The last week and a half focused on preparing for these exams. I am worn out. Still, I have missed this world of blogs and writing things I desire to write.
I spent most of this year delving deeply into things of an academically theological nature. It was great, and thanks to many wonderful professors I can do/discuss many things that I would not have been able to before…and yet…It makes me want to use this space for other things, y’know?
I think I’ve always had a habit of sharing my thoughts about explicitly academic things things. You can look through old posts to find the evidence of that. It’s everywhere. Yet, for all the wonder that this has been and represents for me I’ve begun to realize that I want to practice another form of communication on this blog. I want to practice telling stories.
Stories, as it turns out, are probably the best way to communicate important things. Sure, one can read the front page of the Wall Street Journal which has bullet point updates of world events. But I wonder if those bullet points would help anyone understand the complexity of these issues. Motivations, political factors, personalities involved, and an array of other things all go unmentioned. Even in the best news article, there’s always more work to be done to understand.
A story can be returned to, over and over again. New meaning can be drawn from it as a person changes and grows. The best parts for me of academic theological study have been the parts that can be re-incorporated into my story or the stories of communities and cities I have been a part of. The most meaningful stories are the ones you carry with you the longest. The ones you tell time and again. Some of the stories you tell yourself and others are downright lies, some of them are the most shocking truths you have ever encountered, but I strongly doubt that any of them prominently feature objective abstractions. The height of the tree is only important in it’s height compared to other trees, or in relation to how you fell off it, or the wonder of something so tall. The sentence “God is good.” requires a very long and in-depth story to even begin to ponder why someone would bother to say it.
All this said, I have a long Summer ahead of me. I’ll be reading the academic stuff to keep my mind sharp, but I will avoid sharing that directly with you. I’ll be trying to tell you stories. Ideally, they’ll be interesting and insightful. Some might be poems. Those count as stories too, in my book. Some of them will likely be boring. That’s okay with me, I intend to keep writing them.
I titled this post “A new (old) leaf” because it’s a new leaf now that I’m turning over. But I’ve done this sort of thing before. I guess I’m just planning on doing it again.