Paying for School

My ongoing adventures in life and the pursuit of more...

Monday, March 11, 2013

Familiarity Breeds...

The saying goes, “Familiarity breeds contempt.”  Being back here at SSU for my last module I would modify that saying to, “Familiarity breeds comfort.”  Our first morning session wasn't the ‘jumping into the cold swimming pool’ shock that I feared.  It was more like easing into a warm gathering of old friends.

This morning’s material that ranged from the history of philosophical thought to the work of Thomas Oden regarding Gregory the Great in reference to pastoral care, reminded me what I love so much about SSU.  The theme or cord that ran through the fabric of our morning discussion, for me, was redemption.  Jesus becomes this lens for us through which we can view all of history, B.C. and A.D. through a redemptive world view.  There aren't disciplines or studies that are closed to us as followers of Jesus, rather we are able to sort through a great deal of rubbish to come up with some extraordinary treasure.  Often we don't have to dig very far.

Gregory did this with people and he called pastoral care the art of arts.  It’s not science, despite what some would have us believe.  One size does not fit all but Jesus gives us a capacity to both enter the worlds of others as well as to make room within ourselves to receive others and their world.  I kept thinking of the material we've read for our Old Testament prophets sessions next week and the question the prophets kept asking, “Is God the god of Israel only?”  God hasn't demanded that we learn his language in order to get close, he chooses to come close and speak our language that we might become closer.

There is firmness about SSU, a clear sense of who they are, what they are about and their vision at the same time there is a great accommodation here to meet each student where they are and to help each of us develop into whatever we’re becoming.  A reflection of the Imago Dei.  It’s comfortable here even as I'm getting stretched out again.

This afternoon we delve into the first session of our counselling track.  On the table today, the exact nature of my personal dysfunction.  I can't wait.

When have you encountered some unexpected treasure in an unusual place?  When have you found a community where you could relax?

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