Monday, January 19, 2009

Learning in Wartime

"The University is a society for the pursuit of learning." I know several people that would disagree with this statement; people that would disagree with the need for education entirely. However, I believe, as discussed in class before, that education is a necessary evil. Vocation is something I have struggled with greatly during my first semester of college. Choosing a career path seems like such an important life decision but as seen in this reading and through Professor P. Ribeiro's testimony God will guide. Education may not be for everyone. I believe that as long as you follow the will of God and listen to his guiding voice in life's decisions then you are on the right path.

Ok. Now that I've given my rant about education and vocation, let me focus on the points brought up in the essay Learning in War-Time. The point that my mind kept reverting back to while reading was that "life has never been normal." I don't know if I, or anyone else for that matter, can give a definition of normal because we all have different ideas of 'the norm'. But this is especially key to remember in wartime that even though there is a war going on life is no more or less normal than it was the day, month, or year before.

In class we discussed duties and whether or not every duty is a reliegious duty. Some may agree, but I think every action, every decision, every move we make is part of our duty to Christ. Everything we do must glorify God and yes, even the littlest of decisions make an impact in the Kingdom of God. As Lewis says, "there is no middle way." We cannot half heartedly do something for Christ. It's all or nothing.

Lewis wrote about the enemies that war raises against the scholar. The first is excitement. This relates to my life now as well as it did during the war when Lewis wrote it. We are always waiting for something, always anticipating the end of a current situation that we wait and do nothing. Like Lewis says, "favourable conditions never come" so we "must do the best we can."

The second enemy is frustration. There never seems to be enough time to finish the things we wish to accomplish. But we must not let that frustration stop us. We must press on and we will see that the reward in the end is unimaginable to our human minds in the beginning.

The third enemy is fear. Lewis speaks specificall of the fear of death because war makes death real. Loosing a loved one makes death real. But for me, the fear that encompasses me is not a fear of death but rather a fear of failing in the hear and now. I'm not fearful in regards to the end of my life. I'm afraid about the necessary steps to get there. This is where faith comes in to play. If my faith were stronger I imagine I wouldn't be so fearful.

"Teach me to do your will, for you are my God." - Psalm 143:10

1 comment:

  1. Dear Erin,

    Great posting and summary!
    I agree. For me also of my biggest problems that are an impediment for achieving my goals is fear; the fear of ‘failing in the here and now’. I do believe that this is the not understood by most of us; mostly expressed in the fear of death, which would be the ultimate failure of life (if Christ had not died for us, this would be the case for us too)!

    It is always a consolation for me to know that ‘dying to self’ is exactly the opposite of what the secular stanza sounds ‘let all live for you’ ‘you are the most important’ and it makes the words ‘let go’ meaningful for us. Let go of self, of want, of fears… followed by a ‘you will find yourself back at the other side of the chasm’ whole and better than ever before (scales being peeled from the dragon as in the ‘Voyage of the Dawn Trader’ for ‘Justus Scrub’)!
    God Bless,
    Adriana & Paulo