Category: Literature, Morality, Philosophy, Psychology, Spiritual Formation, Suffering
I’ve recently been given the distinct honor of having my most recent article, “The Sabbath Curse,” published in the auspicious Elmwood Falls Magazine. If you’d like to read it in its entirety, please visit eloquilt.
“I want to introduce myself to you by telling you a story: a true story about me flying too close to the sun.
“As God afforded me the grace to complete my second master’s degree (2011), I knew I was being groomed for something quite special, something that was going to help a lot of people better understand God, themselves, and the world they live in, in order to better worship Him, love themselves, and restore the cracks around them. So I doubled-down on my studies to acquire more knowledge, ‘all in the service for my God and church’, or so I told myself.
“I was fully aware of St. Paul’s admonition to the Corinthian believers that ‘Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up’ (1 Cor 8:1, BSB). However, I chose to believe that the first phrase of the aphorism didn’t apply to me since ‘I’m a mature Christian touting the epistemic banner of fides quaerens intellectum‘ (Anselm’s ‘faith seeking understanding’), but the second one did, since I was killing himself, academically, for my family. Or so the pseudo-justification went.
“Obsessed I became with the pursuit of knowledge (not the pursuit of true happiness, which starts with seeking first the kingdom of God (see Mt 6:33)). I didn’t fully understand it at the time, but what I was doing was setting up my own kingdom on earth with pillars of hubris and walls of accomplishments.
“I knocked on as many theological doors as possible until an analytic theologian, named Oliver Crisp, let me in. (At the time, Oliver was a teaching professor of systematic theology at Fuller Theological Seminary.) So that’s when I started my PhD coursework: in the fall of 2012 with Oliver as my dissertation adviser.
“But something strange happened: the harder I pushed myself to know everything about the doctrines under discussion, the further I got from my family, and ultimately, God. I felt like Icarus, whose hubris led him to fly too close to sun, which melted wax on his shoulders, causing feathers to unfasten, and thus his hope of freedom to come crashing down like one of Zeus’s lightning bolts. And just like the proud son of Daedalus, I fell hard; however, my demise would not happen, immediately. It was the repeated sacrifice of the Sabbath day on the altar of ‘self-sacrifice and hard-work.’ I justified working harder than anyone in my classes in order to prove to myself and to others that I was not only PhD worthy, but God’s favorite philosophical theologian…
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May God continue to enrich you in His Spirit of Power, Love and Self-Discipline, 2 Timothy 1:7.
Thank you, Mariann! Please give my love to Dan for me.
Category: Poetry, Suffering
I look outside my window
And wonder why others’
Faces aren’t melting,
Feeling the nuclear devastation
Of your leaving
I felt like Icarus, whose hubris led him to fly too close to sun, which melted wax on his shoulders, causing feathers to unfasten, and thus his hope of freedom to come crashing down like one of Zeus’s lightning bolts.
Category: Art, Literature, Music, Poetry, Prayers, Psychology, Spiritual Formation, Suffering, Theology
“Redeem and restore
What the locusts have eaten—
The schemes Satan’s woven,
Our innocence … stolen.”
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