Sorry, not a commentary on the ever popular Tim LaHaye series, not even connected.
I spoke with a friend of mine from college days. We roomed together at OBU. He still plays a little basketball as do I. Playing after 40 is both fun and difficult. There were days when what I intended to do in my mind could easily be accomplished physically. I did not say with success. Now my left knee hurts because I believed I could do at 40 what I could at 20 or even 30. There are times I feel left behind. A younger player steals a ball and I cannot catch him or a pass whizzes by and I intended to get it but did not get there – just a little late.
Over ten years ago I finished Doctoral work at Southwestern Seminary. I found out in some of my first seminars I was behind. I was younger and maybe more energetic so it was not physical. I passed all the entrance requirements like the others so it was not intellectual – I don’t think. I simply did not have the same information. Books had been written I knew nothing about that would be a great help to pastor/minister/study etc. I had not read them, did not know they were out there.
I called the Seminary and sought a way to get current reading lists. While Solomon wrote there was nothing new under the sun, our times change and finding ways to apply truth or understand life as we now know it comes with different peculiarities and nuances. There just was not enough interest. For years I tried to find ways to keep current. I attended seminars at the seminary and that helped.
A couple of years ago I participated in a learning journey that sated my desire to hear what God is doing in the world and in the church. A phrase kept ringing in my ears – lifelong learning. I finally found a way to describe what I longed for – continued learning and challenge. I find this the life of the disciple. Jesus calls us to a life long journey of learning, what it means to follow him and be his. There are days when my energy wanes and I feel a bit behind. During those times I have found spiritual practices helping keep me focused.
I have been working with a friend to find ways to helps seminaries move to the edge; a way to keep them connnected with what God is doing in and around the world and how we should respond. We met with Fuller Theological Seminary and will be contracting with them to provide ongoing learning opportunities. We will instill in young leaders, pastors, church planters that a piece of paper on a wall does not mean you have learned all you need to follow Jesus – keep learning. Hopefully we will help others not feel “left behind.”
Some of you have known about this “project.” Thank you for your prayers. Keep praying God will lead. We want pastors to be fresh and invigorated learning what God is doing around the world in hearts as well as minds – careful not to separate the two!