Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Pickle-making

The new look of my blog is inspiring me to write more. Just looking at that picture of Waldo Lake and remembering that I was actually there on a dazzling day in July is an inspiration. Yes the quality of the light was that magical and the water was an incredible clear blue.

I am writing my first exegesis paper for Marylhurst. Doing this is fraught for me because I have to take a LOT of Bible classes to get my MDIV. It isn't so much this particular paper, but the fact that I will have to repeat the process over and over. I wish very much, that the DIV part was more interfaith and I could fill my head with the theology of all the world's great religions.

I cringe a little when my teachers say bright little aphorisms about all that we will learn. The depth etc. I imagine that I could study pickle-making and take some meaning out of it. If you delve deep enough in any subject you learn something that you can take with you and apply somewhere else. Naturally, I have already learned much from this Bible look-see. I am saddened though by the opportunity cost. I have this time to study and I am going to have to spend it on the Bible. I am not denigrating the Bible so much as wishing for more balance in my studies. It saddens me. I am old enough to be sad, and a bit angry, about wasted time.

My original prejudice that the Bible is no more divinely inspired than any other spiritual writing is being confirmed. Once you know how copied, translated, changed and selected it is its hard to see God's hand there. Yes, there is faith and religion, which I respect. But each generation is yanking the book in one direction or another depending on the politics of the day. There is this great human need flowing through it. I am convinced it is a holy book, but more because of the faith and tears, and sometimes blood, of the readers and writers than because of some grand plan. And of course there are some beautiful passages.

Here is my pickle-making insight from the Bible. I was reading about Dick Cheney and his criticisms of Obama because he was closing down Guantanamo Bay and I though "He's a Roman!". Dick Cheney is all about empire and in empire its OK to level whole towns to preserve it.

2 comments:

Ellen L. said...

I read your Belly of the Beast post right before this one and saw something that might be you answering yourself...
You say that you are "old enough to be sad, and a bit angry, about wasted time." In my opinion, that quality is a WONDERFUL prerequisite for counseling. May that endeavor be fulfilling and effective pickle-making for all involved!
It's a joy to read your writing, as always.

excavator said...

I like that! Pickle-making. I came across the same concept recently, in very different words. Thich Nhat Hanh describes it as "all-embracing ideas"

I just broke off for a while, to find the reference, but could not. Anyway, the sense is the same. There just seem to be certain truths that cross systems.

And I agree, that Cheney is a Roman.