I have been struggling with something the last few weeks. Its not the insane amount of reading, the papers I have to write, the 2 jobs I am working, or the fact that I am getting over a case of the flu. I feel so truly blessed to be at seminary, but I feel like something is missing this semester. Today I finally figured out what it is.
With the exception of my Inductive Bible Study on Mark, we have not opened the Scripture at all in my classes this semester. This is what I am missing, and it really has me thinking about what is most important to my growth and education as I journey toward whatever vocation God is calling me to as his minister in and to the world.
We have so much to learn in the short years that we are here. We must cover theology, philosophy, ethics, preaching, exegesis, ctritical methodology – the list goes on and on. Asbury is such a wonderful place to go through all of this, because our professors really BELIEVE in the Christ of the Bible, and they really LIVE a life transformed by encounter with the living God. I have been so impressed by the simple act of having short devotionals or prayer at the start of every class. It invites God to guide our learning, and brings so much to the experience. But what about daily Scripture reading?
We are told that we must make the time for this in our daily lives. I agree. Now show me when. I have developed a new and surprisingly intense addiction since starting back to school. This addiction comes in the form of wanting to truly KNOW scripture. This is a new experience for me, and it drives much of what I do in my studies. The problem is that with all of the other work and life needs, the time needed to get my fix is no longer present. And I feel at a loss.
This reaffirms to me the need to keep scripture and prayer at the center of all that we do. I catch myself daydreaming sometimes about what it must have been like for the early church, so hungry for the truth, yet having no written Word to feast upon. So they committed it to memory. I dream that I too can accomplish this, but then I curse myself for my limitations of memory, and despair at how little I really know.
It all just makes me wonder if, even in this amazing place of dedication to the God of all creation, we are neglecting and in fact hindering the role of Scripture; even as we learn so much ABOUT it.
Pray for me – that I will have the time and energy to feast upon the Word. I can feel it calling to me. That may sound strange, but to those of you who understand what I mean, you can also understand what it feels like to do without.