One of the things I dreaded most in seminary was all of the reading. This may be surprising to some of the people who know me because reading is one of my favorite things to do. My mom likes to remind me from time to time that, when I was very little, I hated the fact that my older brother could read before I did. Then, one night after our regular reading time with Mom, I stayed in my parents’ room after my brother left and said (in the set and determined voice that can only come from a two-year-old), “One of these days, I’m going to be the best reader in this family!” From there, I was on a mission. By the time I entered first grade, I had already gotten myself to a fifth grade reading level. Reading was my thing.
Another reason why dreading the reading in seminary may be surprising is that my usual escape from all of the seminary reading was to read just about anything. Novels, web comics, random articles on internet comedy sites, as long as it wasn’t related to my classes, I would find some time in my day to read it.
I really think that part of the reason reading for seminary was so dreadful is that some of the topics we were reading for my classes were not interesting enough for me. I’d read through pages and pages of text only to realize that I’d zoned out and started thinking of other topics in my head. Then it became flip back twenty pages and read it all over again. Another possibility (and this ties largely into me not wanting to read for my systematic theology class) is that my brain works really well with logic and concrete ideas. The more ethereal and abstract nature of the topics in the theology books just didn’t work with my thought process.
The most interesting thing to me about all of this is that I eventually found out that a lot of what I was reading helped me get a more concrete grasp on the more abstract ideas we were discussing in class. I’ll never forget the day in class when I suddenly understood what was going on in the systematic theology lecture. I was so excited to understand what was being said, I forgot to write down any notes. To this day, all I remember is that I was reading a book that had something to do with a person being able to see multiple possible futures. Somehow, that tied in with whatever theological doctrine we were discussing in class.
The regularity with which I find myself reading something that, from the outside, has nothing to do with my life, yet it still speaks directly to something I’m working through is amazing. I am convinced that this is God’s way of speaking to me indirectly. In what way has God indirectly spoken to you?