I’m half way through my 3rd quarter at SPU, which means I’m about half way through my time as an undergraduate student here. The past three quarters have gone by fast and a lot has changed. I’ve been stretched, challenged, emptied, developed, instructed, filled, and deconstructed. My professors haven’t taught me what to believe, but rather they’ve been teaching me how to think and what questions to ask. How to see the underlying assumptions and peel back the layers. A lot of time this leaves me with questions that shake the foundation that I stand on. Huge chunks of the ground that my perspective of the world is built upon are broken off and sucked into oblivion, as the rebar and concrete of new perspectives is laid. I don’t know what the fully developed foundation will look like. Perhaps it will be a reinforced version of the old one, or perhaps it will be something completely different. As my heart and mind press against the potential ways of viewing the world some crumble in their lack of resemblance to experienced life or lack of a good arguments, while others stand strong.
Nine months ago I was smart, could easily tell you what I believed, and was determined to prove to the world why my way was right. Now I have a vague grasp on how much of an ignorant child I am. Not only do the things I believe clash with each other or lack any type of reasoning, but my actions stray from my belief. The pride, selfishness, hypocrisy, fear, and idolatry that pours out of my heart washes away the sincerity of the “holy and righteous” ideas that I cling to.
The world is getting bigger and the simple answers are being swept away. How does God work? What is the Christian life? What’s the nature of Scripture? What is the Church? How should the church function? How much of the gospel is buried and tangled in our culture? What is the nature of sexuality? How do I read the Bible? Where is truth? What is the theological value of history and science? What’s the relationship between the university and the Church? What are gender roles? What does the divine inspiration of Scripture mean? Who is a Christian? What does it mean to enjoy the gospel in the fellowship of someone unlike me?
As the blurriness of my vision starts to become clearer I see the sharp and jagged edges of the world and they press into the soft underbelly of my childish understanding and weak heart.