In my last post I mentioned how God is like a masterful work of art that only gains more admirers as time passes. I’d like to go back to that analogy and quote C.S. Lewis who provides some insight about admiration and exaltation:
But the most obvious fact about praise–whether of God or anything–strangely escaped me. I thought of it in terms of compliment, approval, or the giving of honor. I had never noticed that all enjoyment spontaneously overflows into praise…The world rings with praise–lovers praising their mistresses, readers their favorite poet, walkers praising the countryside, players praising their favorite game…I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation.
When I share about this wonderful, heart-filling, joy-causing day of mine, praising it completes the enjoyment, i.e. I enjoy it even more when I can tell people about it.
Today was a normal day not in that it wasn’t extraordinary, but in that I realized I live an extraordinarily blessed life.
It started with class this morning with Dr. Plummer learning about the ministry of Christ to the Gospels in our hands. Sitting there I marveled at how God has gifted certain individuals to be Christian-scholars and devote their lives to finding and preserving ancient documents that further testify to the truth of our belief. We don’t worship a God who shuns the academic, we worship a God who designs people to love the pursuit of knowledge. That was my first hit-the-pause-button wow moment and it wasn’t even 10 AM yet.
Second, I walked into chapel ready to hear Scott Patty share a message and he brought it. Even though I almost tweeted a quote by Scott Party (thanks auto-correct), I couldn’t stop nodding in affirmation about what he was saying on Psalm 42-43. I feel depression is an oft overlooked topic of discussion in Christian circles but Scott was very open in talking about his own struggle with seasons of depression. I couldn’t be more thankful for the way in which he closed his message–he reminded us of God’s promise to our weak souls, “I will be with you.” We can trust that however abandoned we feel, we have that awesome truth to turn to for comfort.
Third, I ate a spinach salad with black beans and fajita chicken in the cafeteria and got some reading done before heading to my Missiology class. Anthony Casey was teaching since Dr. Sills is away in Brazil (surprise!) this week…whomp whomp…Anyways, I still had two big take-aways from class which I would like to share:
- Since holistic ministry engages community (see Jeremiah 29:4-7, 14), we should consider re-ordering the structure of our lives by asking (1) At which church can I serve? (2) Where can I work near my church? (3) Where can I live near my place of work and my church?
- In our discussion about Israel’s role in mission, a young African American man named Jimmy raised his hand and said, “How can you expect a dead and unregenerate person to want to come and see?” Those words speak directly to those in the church who say (I’ve been guilty of saying this) that the church will be something profoundly attractive and people will be drawn to us. Um, no. That’s not just laziness, that refusal to go out and bring people to the banquet is disobedience.
Fourth, I went directly to Systematic Theology I after my Missiology class and got to soak up beautiful, glorious truth with Dr. Bruce Ware. Every class, he reminds us to hit that pause button and reflect on the privilege that it is to study at a seminary like Southern at a time like this! Today we talked about Revelation, the epistemological foundation of the Christian faith. Revelation is by God’s sovereign prerogative to give what he chooses to whom he chooses and we need it. We need it because of our finitude and God’s infinite nature–we cannot on our own comprehend God’s glorious otherness. Also, concerning General Revelation, through creation (God’s divine nature evident in created order) and conscience (Mens’ hearts are imprinted with God’s moral nature), it is not saving, but it does hold all accountable. If it seems like I’m just regurgitating my notes, it’s because I’m still in awe of everything I have written here! You can meditate on the implications of God’s sovereign prerogative for days (or eons) probably. He didn’t have to make known truth but he did! He did because he is good and wise and loving.
I finished my classes and walked over to the library with my friend Lance to look at an old book as an extra credit assignment for my New Testament class. Shameless, I know. After that, I changed into my swimsuit and headed over to the pool for the Aqua Alive water aerobics class. My Abide (women’s small group) leader Candice joined me and the Asian, pregnant and older ladies for a great work-out! I really felt the burn… After class, Candice and I had an excellent conversation about repentance, waging war on sin, contentment and a number of other topics. I’m keeping it vague because I’m not ready to disclose any specific details to strangers on the internet! We did sit in the hot tub for longer than the recommended time though…I got a cafe mocha from Founder’s to warm myself up and that’s my day! Like I said, blogging about my day consummates the joy I have in having experienced this day firsthand.