The Spiritual Act of Studying
When I graduated from Bethel University in May of 2012, I kept telling everyone how overjoyed I was to be done with school, homework, class, and academia as a whole. “I’m done,” I would say. “No more school for me!” But I knew deep down that I was lying to everyone, including myself.
It wasn’t long after getting my job here at Hope as the Young Life Church Partner that I began meeting monthly with a small cohort of fellow first and second year staff associates. We listened to lectures, engaged in group discussions, and were given assignments to accomplish. This has continued over the past two years, and I am now on my way to eventually going to seminary (at least that’s the plan).
So what changed my mind about staying away from academia? The spiritual act of studying. It’s that simple. I have shelves of books in my office that I keep collecting off of Amazon but have yet to read, or have started but never finished. I have countless online resources and references at the tip of my fingers, blogs that I try to follow, podcasts I want to keep up on, leaders I want to emulate, but sometimes I find myself browsing through Netflix rather than engaging in one of these tools for growth. Studying takes discipline. And that’s partly why I’m moving towards seminary – consider it forced study.
However, the point of this post is not to suggest that you should consider continuing your education, but simply that we all need to take seriously the spiritual act of studying. I believe we are called to be students of our culture, people with a desire to expand the knowledge of our heads and hearts, to strive towards gracious understanding, and to learn how to better love our neighbor and live like Jesus.
So pick up a book, check out a blog, listen to a podcast – do whatever you have to do to begin to see God at work in our world through other people and the gifts that they contribute. God has the power to work in and through everyone, regardless of whether they are a believer or unbeliever. Let’s learn and grow together, and give God the chance to use other’s voices to reveal his own as we recognize the importance of studying.
BJ Skoog, Student Ministries