For quite some time, I’ve had very little interest in reading and writing.
That sounds kind of terrible for someone with the titles, “Professor” and “Academic Liaison,” but the reason is not that I dislike reading and/or writing. In fact, I quite love it. The waning desire for academic stimulation was more stemming from a lack of inspiration and a general sense of burnout in the academic arena. Prior to coming to h.e.a.r.t. to work and teach, I was neck deep in a doctoral dissertation that had, unfortunately, become exhausting. I was motivated no longer by the subject matter, but simply to finish. There were a great many reasons for the lull in motivation and the desire to “get it over with,” but the bottom line was, I just wanted to move on. Thankfully I mustered the strength and enthusiasm to finish and I am so glad that I did.
Only recently has the desire for learning and exploring and growing reappeared in my life.
I am so incredibly grateful for the many opportunities I have had in life to study and learn and thankfully my enthusiasm for that growth process is returning slowly, but surely. Just a few weeks ago a picked up an old beloved book by Brennan Manning, The Signature of Jesus. Inspiration followed shortly thereafter.
Manning’s refreshing take on the unfailing love of Christ, combined with an ever-growing desire to live simply as a good steward of creation has left me thirsting for more. Many of my co-workers at h.e.a.r.t. are just plain inspiring in their pursuit of godly stewardship and I am thankful to be in community with them.
It’s no surprise that at a place like h.e.a.r.t. we see a lot of very interesting people…some would even say eccentric. They are seen in that light, however, because they are radically pursuing God in the most elemental ways. Rather than falling prey to the allure of the American dream,
most of the people who come through h.e.a.r.t. want something deeper and more meaningful than they have found in the mainstream. They want to be connected to creation in the ways that God originally intended. They want to minister to the poor, the broken, the oppressed. They are embroiled in this pursuit not out of cultural or personal arrogance or judgment, but out of a simple yet incredibly strong desire to seek God.
This is, of course, a generalization, but I am continually challenged by my co-workers and students to find what is real and valuable in this life. I love participating in that pursuit at h.e.a.r.t.