a slightly rambly blog post…

Sometimes, when I sit down to write this blog, I really just don’t know what to say. Sometimes this is because there are no ideas, or sometimes, like today, it is because there are so many ideas flying around in my head that I can’t bring a sensible order to them.

So this is going to be short today, but I felt I needed to touch base with the few of you who like to read what I write (thank you so much!) as it has been a couple of weeks since I last posted.

Life just happens sometimes, doesn’t it?! I have had a crazy busy couple of weeks, but mostly in a really good way. I knew juggling working, studying and being a sociable human being was not going to be an easy task, and some weeks are more balanced than others. The last few weeks have been quite hectic (although a lot of fun) and finding time to stop and think has been hard.

A lot of my course requires reflection, and in a few weeks time I would love to spend some time on this blog explaining some of what I’ve been learning, as theology should be the study of every Christian, not just the academics (I still don’t consider myself an academic, by the way, just a geek). We’re now entering into essay season, where I will be summarising and applying what I have learnt over the last five(ish) months, and through that process I hope to develop my thoughts in a way that is sharable and understandable to myself and others. (This is also me apologising in advance if I don’t post again until my essays are handed in!)

But outside of my studies, I’m finding it hard to find time to rest in God’s, reflect, breathe.

Recently I’ve really been challenged (again) about not turning God into a subject to be studied. I’m sure I’ve written about this before. During the Lent season at my church we have been talking about some of our core values as a community. These stem from encountering God, and include belonging to the community and growing in our faith, then extend into serving our neighbourhood and the world.

Last week we looked at growing, and the preacher said something that was so simple yet so profound that it made me stop in my tracks: ‘To grow as a disciple we need to know Christ and His love.’ He talked about the difference between intellectual knowledge and relational knowledge, and I was so challenged.

As a theology student (or even before I was) I have always found it so easy to fall into knowing about God, that sometimes I forget that the important thing is simply knowing God and His love for me. If my intellectual pursuits are not pushing me to a deeper relational knowledge of and love for God, then they are a waste of my time.

So this week I made a change. Instead of getting in from work, watching a bit of tv to relax, and then hitting the books, I added an extra stage in. Before sitting down to study, I spent 5-10 minutes in prayer, reflecting and asking God to help me. I am not good at prayer, so I have been using a guidebook to help me, called 31 Days of Prayer for the Dreamer and the Doer by Jenn Sprinkle and Kelly Rucker (available from The {well} Studio). The first day when I started reading, it hit me so hard how much I needed this book that I nearly burst into tears in the public library. A few days in, I am definitely feeling encouraged and refreshed to go on with my busy life.

As I head into essay mode, I need to remember why I am studying theology – to know God better, not just to know more about Him.