Saturday, June 13, 2015

When You Get Them Seminary Blues

Summer reading list plus Summer drinking list.
It's a weird feeling.

Like when a relationship goes sour and ends.

Or like when your wife leaves for the weekend and you end up sleeping alone.

Or, even, when nothing bad happens and you are left with that empty feeling that can only be described as the seminary blues.

Seriously, this is a thing.

I've written two major papers this quarter, spent hours upon hours online, reading and talking and foruming it up with classmates over Paul, empire, textual criticism, sex, and social context. I don't know how weird it is to say this, but I've spent so much time in 33-62CE that I have forgotten to live in the twenty first century. In normal conversations with people at work, I've dropped Paulinist language almost by accident. A friend asked me if I thought something, and I said "by no means!"

He looked at me like I had stuck my hand down my pants.

The feeling is like this: on a Monday I get up at 330am, drive to work from 4am to 5am, work from 5 until the mid-afternoon, go to Irvine (a ten mile drive north of work), sit around and write for 2 hours, sit in class for 3 hours, and go home. Most of the day is spent driving, working, listening to lectures, reading, writing, and listening to lectures.

And now I have nothing to do besides work.

No reports. No forum debates. No papers. No research. Nothing.

And it leaves this gaping hole in your schedule and you find yourself almost in a state of anxiety. Or maybe that's just me. As I'm sitting in our studio in Pasadena, reading Goldingay and Thompson, nursing hot chocolate, I have forgotten what it means to sit down and not do anything.

Its something you desperately want, and when it happens, you end up sitting down and writing about why you have nothing to do. Nothing to do is a good thing sometimes. Seminary teaches you Greek, textual criticism, hermeneutics, the pains of history, and the nature of Scripture. It sometimes forgets to teach you how to sit down and enjoy silence.

So, I will go back to Thompson, Goldingay, and my hot chocolate. Not because I have to read them, but because I get to. Time to relearn the nature of enjoying literature without the stress of a deadline. Now with a brew.

Thanks for reading my musings.

NQ

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