So often my reading and thinking life resembles the following photo:
As I tend to read too many books all at once, and many of those readings start to overlap, and then events and ideas from “real” life come sweeping in, I go through periods of swirling thoughts that sometimes become thematic. Right now, given my wild state of life (unemployed, in Greenland, with winter upon me and Lent bearing down), the theme has become that of “Calling” or vocation. I am not so much struggling with the issue as seeking clarity.
So as I have been reading Guiness’ work, The Call, and Jaeger’s Paideia, and Esolen’s How to Ruin Your Child’s Imagination, and some Virginia Wolff to boot, I have been thinking about a school’s calling. I have at least the following flowing out of these swirls of color:
A. It is not enough to have a clear “mission statement” – that is only the starting point. Institutional clarity (everyone seeking the same thing) is very hard, takes a long time, and often boils down to “can everyone repeat ms from memory” which is wholly inadequate. The Greeks spent day and night teaching their young to love arete; how can we do less in teaching our young to love the true, good, and beautiful, or in shorter words, to love God and man?
B. Imagination is key to calling. It is not simply a call to a “job” or “work” but rather a unique idea of fitting a person to a place and an idea, all within the context of other people called to the same place and idea.
C. Yesterday, in church, I was swept away during the sermon by some comment that I cannot now recall, but that had me considering the work of heaven. It is without the curse, but there are things being done in the other world, and they are explicitly for this world. There is a sense of moving forward, and accomplishing God’s purpose, even there. So why our haste to “get it done” so quickly here? I am not sure how much of our perceived calling here even relates to reality, but is rather temporary, to prepare and get us to the real calling. But I am guessing that some of what we do here is for there, which in turn is forever.
All this paint, all these fingers, so many visions, so little “useful” thought. But I keep thinking…