Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Woman Obsessed

I am a woman obsessed …I have 9 days to finish my thesis.  Every other assignment I have and just about every conversation I am a part of, I somehow manage to bring the topic of my thesis into it.  I am bouncing between moments of dreadful panic and near giddy excitement.  This morning I woke up writing a new paragraph in my head on a section I had already declared done.  I was almost late leaving for church because of adding it in.

Sometimes I think that it may turn out to be the musings of a starry eyed seminarian on the verge of starting in ministry.  I am realizing that the more I read and learn how MUCH more there is out there for me to learn.  Which, in the end, is the premise I come up with – that catechesis, our formation as Christians, is a lifelong process not restricted a few weeks of baptism or confirmation preparation.  I sweat blood over every single word of the theological foundation part, defining and discussing justification and sanctification; I was energized by the topic of Christian Character formation as seen in 1 & 2 Peter; I bored myself to tears in my analysis of the existing catechism in the Book of Common Prayer which I hopefully redeemed in my parallel between the Didache and the need for a “new” view of formation today; and I’m excitedly putting together a proposal for bringing this new view into a parish setting.  I’m exhausted, I’m still finding bursts of energy, I so very ready to be done with it, and yet I know I’ll feel an emptiness when I turn it in.  I’m not at all fretting over the mark I will get on it (okay, maybe I’m a bit concerned that I haven’t said anything heretical in the theology…) but anxious to share it with others who have shown an interest in it.  It is, and will be for another 9 days, a wonderful ride that I don’t regret for a minute getting on.  

My work on my thesis is not just the books in my bibliography or the hours I’ve spent writing it specifically, but fruit of my own formation.  And, more importantly, it isn’t the “end”.  It is what I hope will be a seed that will bear fruitful research, formation, and writing in the years to come. 

Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
   incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable;
   I will utter dark sayings from of old,
things that we have heard and known,
   that our ancestors have told us.
We will not hide them from their children;
   we will tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might,
   and the wonders that he has done.
Psalm 78:1-4

God’s peace be with you, my friends.  I’m going to make another cup of coffee and keep writing …

1 comment:

  1. Nancy, I like where you are heading with spiritual formation. Seems to me that formation is the human vocation; the call to theosis. I am interested in your application of this to the parish and how formation can be returned to center of parish life and the primary work of priests.

    Blessings on your own formation and that which you will offer others.