October 6, 2021 - Mental Constipation
"At this point Festus interrupted Paul's defense. 'You are out of your mind, Paul,' he shouted. 'Your great learning is driving you insane.'" (Acts 26:24)
I am at a crossroad. I have spent my whole adult life studying intensely so that I might be a vessel of honor for the Lord in the area of teaching His word. I have so much more to learn. So much more to understand. But I am tired. King Solomon said, "Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body." (Eccl. 12:11). I am weary and have been for a very long time. But I push on...
I am also aware as a teacher that giving too much information to students yields to what is known as "paralysis by analysis" - the place where there is too much to think about or the thing thought about has such depth that your mind simply stops working. Mental constipation. Academic enema needed.
I love to read and books have been my solace, my friend, my comfort, my strength, my source of renewal...my idol.
Perhaps some of you can resonate. I have an internal need to understand, to know. Perhaps it stems from a fear of not knowing - to be asked a question and to suffer the embarrassment of something I should know, should have been aware of but wasn't. The fear of that one thing I could have said to turn the mind toward God, to turn the heart toward God. Failure. "What a crappy job, good and sort of faithful servant."
Arrogant? Proud? Confessed. Desiring to please, to not let anyone down...God. Certain. Firstborn syndrome. Heir to the throne with the self-induced pressure to go with it. "I'm thinking so," says my inner therapist. But what to do?
Overall, I think its from God. It's how I connect with Him in a deep way. It is also part of my introvert DNA. But I've been feeling that season is coming to an end or shifting.
But what's next? No idea. A part time job? I think that would just fill space and time. Sitting on the couch watching mindless TV for hours (except for the History Channel, the SciFi Channel, and...okay, HGTV, and the Food Network). Oh...and FreeForm, and MeTV, and the Inspiration Network, and Newsmax, ESPN college football, and...OMG...I need to read more and watch TV less.
I feel like I am characterized by the sinful women in Titus, "ever learning but never coming to the knowledge of truth." I know that that's not true but I long for some definitive direction. A rifle instead of a shotgun.
I know that in the latter days people will leave the faith and follow doctrine taught be demons. I know that my spiritual gift is to fight error and proclaim truth. I'm looking for a fight not another book to read (default).
I miss teaching at a doctoral level. No "C's" get degrees stuff. Hardcore mind/spirit engagement. Gloves off. Get at it. Invigorating. Wonderfully exhausting. Like baling hay all day in 90 degree weather exhausting.
Perhaps that is what the essence of a true spiritual gift is - not something you do, but something you are, something you love. Perhaps it is the thing that exhausts you and exhilarates you simultaneously. Perhaps its what drives you to greatness and can at the same time drive you to insanity.
Maybe the difference is the focus: the subject or the object.
Maybe the difference is that the intake is not equaling the output.
Solution: I just need a good "movement."