“‘Stop!’, shouted Kirk with a suddenness that made me jump. ‘What do you mean by wildness and what grounds had you for not expecting it?'”
~C.S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy~
The past few weeks in my Bible class we’ve been studying the New Testament. We’ve covered the gospels written by Matthew and Luke, the books of Acts and Romans, along with the additional letters of Paul. I use the word studying loosely. In my mind, studying means thinking deep and long about something. I’m surrounded by multiple open books, turning pages and taking notes. The hot drink that miraculously never gets cold sits close enough to be reached for and sipped. I reread the instruction for one of this week’s assignments, which is to write 300-500 words answering the question, “Who is Jesus?”
How much time do you have, because I could tell you some stories. When I go in for these counseling appointments, lately happening every two weeks on Tuesdays, we have fifty minutes to talk about whatever direction the wind is blowing that day. Only once have we ever accidently gone fifteen minutes over. One can adapt to molding themselves around other people’s requirements, to staying within the bounds set forth. In this semester’s Bible class, as long as you complete and turn in your work, full credit is given for the assignments. This means that even though I enjoy the class and find it to be enriching, I haven’t been putting in as much time and effort towards it, because I don’t have to.
And that bothers me. Especially with a subject as infinitely minable as the Bible, there is always more to be revealed. The fear of missing out on a new or particularly divine tidbit or takeaway takes up more space in my mind than the content of the pages I lightly read or skimmed. She and I have talked before about the reality that you can’t read it all, that our actual lives typically do not allow us to sit for hours uninterrupted with our books, as heavenly as this version of studying sounds. And yet, the screen time report that pops up every Sunday preaches to me weekly, that clearly, I could’ve done more.
There is a balance to be found, but only after I have voiced the true expressions of my soul. Could I be thankful for a class that I found to be easy, that was not overly stressful, that challenged me to write more, and was also on a subject I loved? Absolutely yes. I want to be the mom who leaves warm crock-pot meals all ready to come home to when I walk out the door for class Monday evenings. I want to be the wife who does her husband good and not harm all the days of her life, whether I ever inspire love songs again or not. And I am still to remain this muddled non-illusion of who I am and who he is.