Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Dealing with Something New, or, The School for Formation Is Wrinkling My Brain

This past week, I finished with my first course in the School for Formation! I'm already starting the next course. Like, I'm already a week into the next one because I didn't notice on the calendar that they overlapped. That was jarring. But nonetheless, I buckled down and I wrote the papers and submitted them in order to meet requirements. But I also had something like a coming-to-Jesus moment, too.

See, I've always been a high achieving student. In previous studious times in my life, I have had the time to make my studies a priority. In other words, I bought all the books, I did all the readings and I wrote all the assignments. No question about that, it was my priority to accomplish everything set forth by my professors.

Now, however, here I am, working at a high school while also trying to be a student myself. Not to mention that I still have commitments at church that keep me busy mid-week and on weekends. Unfortunately, sometimes it feels like the School for Formation is coming in at the bottom of the priority ladder. Which is terrible, because I know that this is the formation opportunity that I have been discerning for years.

Be that as it may, I find it hard to sink the time into my new studies. But I think it might be indicative of a larger issue. Like I said, I had a coming-to-Jesus moment in which I realized that this time around, me being a student is not like other times I have been a student. This time, I am prompted to be very practical. I need to look at my studies as means to an end, not as the end themselves. I am not pursuing knowledge for its own sake this time, I am exploring and practicing the techniques and methods that will ultimately help me in my deaconing.

There's a bit of cognitive dissonance here. I mean, I'm telling myself about this practicality, but that doesn't mean that I've got the whole situation locked down. There is still some cognitive dissonance when I want to be an exemplary student who understands all the concepts presented to him. But I don't actually have that opportunity now. I have a different opportunity.

What we're doing in the School for Formation is bringing in community experiences and analyzing them on the basis of the coursework. We're each offering what we know and understand for the benefit of our classmates. This is a fairly new thing for me. I'm unused to it.

And since I'm unused to it, I feel raw and confused and perplexed when I try out these new ways of thinking. And some of that unease is coming out on my blog (as you well know, dear reader). So I ask for a few things. First, that you bear with me. I've come to realize that I do a fair amount of processing in digestion, after I hear a new idea. And that digestive process may be manifested here on my blog. I also ask that you forgive me and help me to forgive myself. I often try to present things in a very polished sort of way, whether that be my blog posts or anything else that I'm in charge of or responsible for creating. So going forward, some of my blog posts may not be nearly as polished as others have been in the past. And for those of you who know me in person, I may be even more scatterbrained as I go through this process.  But nevertheless, I offer them all my work and observations to you, dear reader. I offer them to you to do with as you wish.