Monday, November 9, 2009

"Riding the waves of an elusive reality"

Just got back from lunch with a CJP-Seminary dual-degree prospective student, who was on a campus visit to EMU from Ohio.  I love the opportunity to meet with prospective students in the two programs.  First, it hopefully helps them in discerning a very significant, life-changing decision.  Second, it helps me figure out why I'm here in these programs, studying for four or five years, with no strong sense for what/where comes next.  Last, and perhaps most important: the lunch is free (to me).  Through stimulating discussion that went by in a flash, my discussion with him helped me see some of the things that are really great about living in two academic worlds simultaneously, and what's not so great.  So after the jump, there's a quick three-each list:

What's great:
  • Three-year Formation track in the seminary is a great complement to CJP self-care learning
  • Theological framework balanced with social sciences framework
  • Emphases/tracks available in the respective programs offer a lot of creativity (mine: Restorative Justice - CJP/Academics (theology & ethics) - Seminary)
What's not that great:
  • Emotional and psychological overhead associated with living in two different social networks
  • Having to say "no" to a lot of fun stuff
  • Arguments that sometimes come up between different theological/philosophical perspectives, aka "academic turf war"
That's not the half of either list, but enough for recording for posterity's sake, or hopefully for someone else, too.  What it means hearkens back to my previous post, wherein appeared Moira's beautiful words that form the title of this post.  Standing in the surf near a beach, the farther out you go, the harder it is not to be moved by the force.  At some point it quickly becomes impossible not to be moved.  So it is with the Spirit of God.  The farther into this journey of discovery I go, chasing after Jesus becomes quite unsettling.  So it becomes a matter of trying to ride these waves, catching glimpses at an elusive reality.  Something that feels quite certain and worth following, and yet casts me into a tension that sometimes feels quite frustrating.

I reused the van Gogh painting above because it strikes me as a beautiful illustration of the fluidity in the way that I've experienced God working in my life...and will continue to do so.  Blessings to Roger as he contemplates this in his own life.

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