Friday, September 25, 2009

Learning is Incarnational

In my last semester of College I took a class called Integrative Seminar. The purpose of this class was to look back on the many topics that we have discussed in previous years and re-examine our thoughts towards them. It is Socrates who said, “the unexamined life is not worth living.” How necessary it is to not simply buy into culture but to be courageous enough to examine who we are, why we think the way we do, and if our culture is functioning in a right and truthful manner. Facing ourselves is neither easy nor pretty, but in order to become whole we must!

If I could pick an overall thesis for a liberal arts education at Eston College it would be to, “learn how to incarnate Truth by weaving together one’s belief and behavior into a consistent whole, whereby one’s life engenders a humble openness, a worldview sufficient to answer the questions of life, and an ability to engage a broken world.”

So. Where does that leave me now?

I am finishing the degree that I have started by embarking on another adventure with LifeFORCE Teams UK. Meditating on this idea of an integrated life makes me wonder, how does this actually work? Our intentions can be so fragmented from our actions; we are broken humans. Spending this year in Walsall, England is not a year allotted to finally “figure out” how to become an integrated whole. It is a year of beginnings. The nature of fusing the most important things together with how this shapes one’s life is a long process of challenges to one’s current worldview and relationships with people who will help embody this integration.

Most of the things I am doing for my internship are new things. I do not know if I was designed to do them or not, but this is the time to find out. I will be working mostly with students ranging from the ages of 4-18. Assemblies, RE classes, enrichment courses promoting a holistic lifestyle, dance, art, networking, community development. Fun, vulnerability, humility, failure, learning, reading, interacting, sllooownesssss.

Here's to weaving. Cheers.

Friday, September 18, 2009

epic or not

Most friends I have from college would tell you that it is rare when I allow others to read my writing. This is not because I believe I am a spectacular orator or author, quite the opposite really. Inscribing one’s thoughts for anyone to read is unnerving because one is left exposed and vulnerable. There is risk because once words are written down (static) we feel that we hold some sort of control over them. There is susceptibility too because the message that one wishes to convey will always be interpreted differently by each person who hears or reads it. I used to be overcome to the point of defeat when looking at my inability to communicate the thing that I so desperately wanted to be understood. Miscommunication is a regular occurrence and it is indeed frustrating. Frustrating but unavoidable. One’s history, culture, and experiences help form the filter by which we interpret everything. Therefore certain words I say may have connotations that can either open you up or close you off. I have no control in the situation; I am vulnerable.

Within the surmountable and ever-increasing world of blogging there exists an expectation that each entry will contain some nostalgic bit of literature. Whether one teaches, preaches, writes, converses, or blogs, each is tempted to avoid vulnerability by hiding behind elegant phrases or “original” ideas. A friend and I were talking in the summer and he encouraged me with this: “What has been will be again, what been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9. Thanks Jesse. I do believe in creative imagination that should be utilized, however there is a certain pressure taken off. Everything I might say here likely has been stated before and that is okay. Some things I might say will be misinterpreted and could offend you and that is okay. Not anything I might say will be a hidden or contrived version of me; this I will try most assuredly to maintain. I cannot promise nostalgia; indeed I might be boring or silly to read! Either way it will be me and if you are daring I would ask the same from you. Thanks to Jordan and those of you who have not been afraid to let others into your world of thoughts; you have encouraged me to do just that. Thanks to my friends and family who will be reading this at home in Canada. I love you and miss you. Thanks for journeying with me.