Hi, my name is Cayley, and I am a theology student.
(The blogsophere in my mind responds with: Hiiiiii Caay-leey.)
Is there a support group for people like me? I’m pretty sure there should be one! I have a feeling that the answer should be “yes, of course! It’s called the church, silly!” Unfortunately, I have the feeling it’s not quite so simple.
The problem with studying theology is that it becomes awfully easy to dismiss God as part of your studies. (Here you go, God, here’s a nice box for you to stay in, right beside Ancient Greek and Demonology.) It becomes far too easy to dismiss miracles – after all, they happen all the time in the Bible. And speaking of the Bible, that has a habit of becoming a little too much like a textbook. Nope, better read something else today – just for your own sanity.
It terrifies me that a person who wants to study God would become the person to dismiss him and so easily believe lies! It scares me even more that I am that person.
I called this post the dead theologian for this reason: we know we’re made alive in Christ. We have the Spirit of the Living God in us. We have been raised into the fullness of life with Christ… Yet something seems to have died. It’s hard to place my finger on it, but I know it’s dead. Inside this living, breathing, born-again theologian wanna-be is something festering. It’s the dead theologian syndrome.
So how do I combat the rigor mortis that is taking over my spiritual life? How does this dead theologian live again? Well, as I type this, I realise that the answer is quite simple… it’s just that, as per normal, the practice of it is not quite as easy.
Remember good ol’ Ezekiel way back in the Old Testament? Well, he had a similar question when faced with a pile of dead bones. He just got to do it in dialogue and slightly more eloquently. The Lord asked him if the bones could live; if they could rise again. And Ezekiel’s reply? It wasn’t a sigh and a shake of the head. Ezekiel didn’t hold a memorial. He simply replied with the only thing he knew for certain: You alone know.
And lo and behold! The bones lived! God breathed his Spirit into those dead, dried up bones and they lived! Those things were well passed rigor mortis. Those things were practically decomposed. I’m thinking elephant graveyard in Lion King. Creepy, right? Yet God made them live.
That same Spirit lives today, and that Spirit is in me – I simply need to give myself over to God completely and allow Him to do His work. As I said, harder in practice… I’ll take a guess and say that what’s required is a broken, begging, fearful and worshiping heart. I’m guessing God is asking for free reign. And this is one outlandish request I am more than happy to agree to!
Casting Crowns came out with a song some time ago with words that went like this:
A pastor stands before his congregation
Once a mighty army for the Lord
But now he stares into the lifeless eyes
Believers leading carnal lives
He wonders what they’re fighting for
But driven by a calling on his life
He spoke God’s word like
He’d done a hundred times before
But this time he comes broken and weeping
With tears of a broken heart
And he cries out to the Lord
Oh Lord, send Your wind into this valley
And breathe the breath of life into their souls
And raise them again a mighty army
For soon these arisen warriors will battle again
For they have been filled with the spirit wind
I’m going to start praying hard for that Spirit Wind. And I don’t need a theology degree to know that God answers prayers!
And that support group I so desperately need? Well, church family – sorry for you, but you’re going to have to help this family member who needs to go to rehab…
PS. If you know me personally, please don’t comment to me on what you’ve read here. As Flannery O’Conner put it, “I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say”.