Sunday, May 4, 2008

What Happened to the Silence?

I have been absolutely terrible about blogging over the past couple of weeks.  As what normally happens when the stress of school starts to get to me, I push off doing things that would most likely relax me and help me with school - blog, exercise, pray, meditate.  I wonder why the things that we need to do the most are oftentimes the things that we tell ourselves we don't have time to do.

There are certain professors at school who make a genuine attempt to remind us that we are here first and foremost to respond to a call to some sort of ministry and only second to this are we as students.  For example, in my History of Christian Thought class one of the TAs always opens the class in prayer and then we have a period of silence.  This silence has changed drastically over the semester.  At the beginning of the semester, we all stopped what we were going during the prayer and let the silence fill our hearts and minds with the good news as we prepared for the lecture.  Now it's barely silence - and I'm just as guilt as my classmates for forgetting about the silence.  Now instead of letting the silence prepare me for the lecture I'm busy trying to download the outline off of our blackboard site and put it into a format that will be easy to study off of later and, if I get the chance to, glance at my e-mail.  What happened to the silence?

It's funny because, in an effort to be more progressive on social issues, we are taught in seminary not to be silent on issues that are important to us.  But honestly - where does that get us?  Arguing in a plenary session, trying to page through Robert's Rules to figure out which microphone to go to?  There are times when I think we just need to shut up and let the Holy Spirit speak through the silence.

I don't think that this applies to issues of social justice, I think this always applies to our crazy lives.  What would our lives be like if we just stopped and let the Holy Spirit act through our stillness?

I have two more finals and then my first year of seminary will be over.  So much has happened this year and I've learned so much - most of it not from syllabi and the $700 worth of books I've acquired.  I really hope I take the time this summer to think about what I learned and how I can change who I am and who I claim to be for next year.  Yes, I'm a student.  But I am first and foremost a follower of Jesus Christ learning about the life he led, the lessons he taught and the traditions that followed.

With Grace,

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