Life right now feels more than a little crazy. I do not understand the path we are walking, and what God is up to in this time as we look for what next. I was clearing out our desk drawers today, and came across some old papers and notes from 4 years or so ago when we were at Regent. Tucked amongst the Hebrew translation and exegesis notes was a hand written scrap of paper which was titled “Living well”.
At first I was a bit puzzled trying to work out where it came from. Then I remembered. It was notes I scribbled at a lunchtime Q and A session with one of the retired faculty members who continue to provide their services for Regent. While I didn’t take any courses from this particular faculty member, I count it one of the great privileges of going to Regent to have heard him give one or two lectures, and take part in a number of panels (of which this was one). It was wonderful to hear him speak (which he does in sentences as carefully crafted as his books), and sense that the writing comes from a life lived with God. If you are a fellow Regent Alumni, or have heard the person speak you might be able to guess who it is (sorry, no prizes available…)
Right now I don’t have a sense of having much to say myself, but I sense that this is important so I wanted to present the jottings I took that lunchtime, because I think they are wise, and I wanted to listen to them again. So here are the jottings I made:
To be a Christian is to be fully human – rather than acting.
Watch the heart
Let God search me often
Look hard at the Lord Jesus, read the gospels. He is our Saviour, Lord and Friend.
Keep on begging the Trinue God to make me real, spontaneous, outgoing, sharing my heart with others, vulnerable. (I remember this striking me vividly – and it still does – I think it is a particularly good prayer for those of us who are “marginally” more introverted than average.)
Live into circumstances other than resisting. Keep quality of covenantal relationships – family.
Spiritual Disciplines – most profound, daily practice of bible reading. Reading scripture, so that at critical moments is direction.
Tension between academic study and personal – pray about study, pray in what is learnt, don’t let brain work outstrip personal communion with the Lord. Praying needs to match learning. All truth is beneficial, yet also dangerous if used wrong. Time and space to praying around learning.
Artificial environment of theological college, lots of input, less output. Ideas about life. Seduction of the spirit in academy – keep the heart with all diligence. Grace in relationships.
Doctrine not to be taught without reflection on how it should change our lives. Teacher of doctrine must be a pastor too. Theology in context of worship and community
Vision often leads to risk.
Right now that risk feels a little close to the bone and I could do with something a little more tangible than vision. But the notes are an encouragement to prayer.