As I sit on my front porch enjoying a favorite past time my mind wanders to past experiences, to friends still here and those that have passed into eternity. Our conversations about life, theology and future aspirations still influence me today. These things force me to contemplate my present state and future goals.
I cannot help but feel scared and ill-equipped. I do not believe there is a question about where I belong. There is nothing that excites me more than a new book. Therein a host of new concepts and perspectives await my attention. And afterwards? It will be my job to share my newly acquired knowledge with eager and impressionable students. For of what use is knowledge if it is not given as eagerly as it was received. I belong in a school…I belong in the scholarly world.
Why am I pensive and afraid? My interests are broad and transitory. In the last two to three weeks I have studied and neglected the LXX, studied and neglected German, studied and neglected the codices, and am now reading as many articles on baptism in order to revise a 2-year-old paper in hopes of presenting it to the regional meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society.
This seems to be a prevailing characteristic of my studies. At Moody it was Systematic Theology, then I became attached to Historical Theology, and finally the Greek language. As soon as I began at Southeastern, Heath Thomas’ “Old Testament Theology” class was breathtaking. Never before did the Old Testament invoke interest. And yet, I ardently studied Hebrew and the Old Testament.
The root of the problem? I have the attention span of a two-year-old opening Christmas presents. What’s next? Unless I am writing a paper on a specific thesis, I rarely ever go deep enough into a subject to become proficient. The concept of a 150+ page thesis terrifies me. Some of you might be thinking, “The concept of a 15 page paper terrifies me.” Yet, my horror doesn’t come from the page length or that I will have to write. After all, I think I write pretty good. Instead, I recognize the amount of dedication towards one subject, one paper, one thesis that is required.
Please don’t misunderstand. I am thankful that my interests are broad. It keeps me from becoming myopic. I have my friends to thank for those interests. Matt Kelly, thank you for being passionate about language. Thom Desmond, thank you for having a pastors heart. Mike Lynch, thank you for you dedication to precision and systematics. Nathanial Cooley, thank you for your love of the biblical narrative. Dustin Crowe, thank you for your attention to the thoughts of those who have gone before. Kyle Talbot for…well…everything. Adam for apologetics, Josh for counseling, Ben for ethics and the list goes on. Above all, thank you to my wife that puts up with my bouts of obsessive behavior.
I only pray that I will be able to find the thing that drives me. The love that grips my soul and will not depart.