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September 16, 2010

Quick to Listen

Quick to Listen

In the process of slowing down from a busy life and schedule, I found how blessed I was to be in the beautiful mountains of Colorado, away from internet and with spotty cell reception. I was now free to engage in the community here and devote myself completely to growing in wisdom and knowledge. The community here gelled within twenty-four hours, and we are already family. The staff has done a superb job of coupling roommates who have the same study, sleeping, and life habits, as well as common interests. With thirty students hungry for a deeper faith and seeking for wisdom, Semester is more than I could ever have hoped for!

Tuesday morning at 6:45, my roommates and I went running. Needless to say, I worked out muscles I never knew I had, being from the plains of Nebraska. After Eric’s lectures, lunch, and study time, we received a survival lesson by Nathan on how to start a fire in the wild. We all gathered around a blazing fire, roasted marshmallows and mushrooms (yeah, they are heavenly when cooked lightly and topped with ranch), and shared our testimonies. As the night unfolded, we formed a brotherhood as we got to know each other’s life stories. It was a night of honesty and trust, and I personally was able to gather around me a group of men who would help me in my weaknesses and encourage me in my relationship with God.

Wednesday we dove right into Christian Life and Thought with Eric Smith. He challenged us to know our Bibles better. Afterwards, we all went to our places of solitude—a time set aside to think, pray, read the Bible, etc. I found my solitude in the top of a ponderosa pine which offered me a picturesque view of the valley that the Lodge sits in. As I sat there, I read the introduction to my Bible for the first time and Genesis 1-11 in one sitting. I never knew how well the Bible flowed until that day. Later, we broke up into work groups to help Nathan with the maintenance of the grounds. A few other students and I sanded the Speaker Lodge so we could paint it later on in the year. I had a blast getting sawdust everywhere and can’t wait until the next group assignment. Dr. Bauman arrived in the evening just in time to give his first lecture in History of Christian Thought. Needless to say, I have a lot of work to do in mending the holes in my theology.

Thursday after breakfast, Bauman dove right into Christianity and Politics, and really challenged my views on government involvement in public education. After lunch, we had a group study time reading C.S. Lewis’s An Experiment In Criticism and discussing whether we agreed with Lewis’ view on literary criticism. During the discussion, I was really challenged to let people fully express their opinions before evaluating their ideas. I must be quick to listen in this community of thirty students.

Blogger's Bio: From a young age Paul has been called to do missions work in China. He plans to pursue a degree in Agroecology from North Carolina State, followed by an English as a second language degree. Paul enjoys gardening, and piano, and has done some public speaking. He hopes to do humanitarian work in rural China, supporting himself by teaching English. “In the pursuit of these goals, I embark with a hunger for a deeper understanding of the Bible and a Christian worldview, as I see them necessary for my work in missions.”

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