Thus far, I have written 2 official reading reports, composed about 30 pages of notes on various readings, presented 6 summaries of readings, and taught a masters' class. I still have another reading report and 2 major papers to write (slightly panicking) on 1) the task of theology after modernism and 2) something about narrative theology. These last assignments need to happen in the next few weeks which means even more reading and then sitting at my computer trying to sort all the random bits of information into coherent, brilliant, never-been-written-before thoughts.
In the midst of all this, my connection with God has started to feel a bit thready. Like a pulse that is there, but not quite the consistent boom ba-boom that one wants to hear. I think part of the reason for this is that I have neglected the primacy of "with." Having a lot of demands put on you intellectually means that you start to develop some competency and reach a certain comfort level with the various challenges and tasks tossed your way. That's good. As a result, I am not turning my thoughts to God as often to say "Help!" or "I need you!" That's okay, too. But I never want to forget that all of these projects and writing assignments take on a whole other dimension and depth when I invite God to do them "with" me. Or perhaps more accurately, he is the one inviting me to do them "with" him.
I often think of something one of my professors said in the first class I took when I started my graduate studies. She noted that the story of Genesis is different from all the other creation stories that were circulating in the pagan world at the time because it speaks of a God who wants to do projects "with" his creation, not just rule over them. And this is where I want to be more often: in the "withness," working together "with" Someone who always enlarges my experience and my work. He not only adds insight, but makes the journey less lonely, less overwhelming, more enjoyable, and always worthwhile. And on numerous occasions, he also inserts the opportunity for transformation if I will stop for a bit and let it in.
Every day, let my prayer be: God, can we do this day together?
the photo: some of the white fluffy seedlings behind my condo that will no doubt yield something next spring.