Wednesday, April 22, 2015

one rich life

My mother, with great wisdom, did not teach history, philosophy, literature and art as isolated subjects cordoned off into neat categories. She recognized, and taught me and Charlie to recognize, that the humanities are deeply intertwined with each other. With history as the baseline, she made sure that we understood that all of these disciplines are in continual conversation with each other. 

She gifted us with a love of the liberal arts.

In some ways it might have been easier to teach us these subjects separately, not taking the time to uncover the dialogue between them. But I know from others that this seemingly simpler method drains the study of the humanities of its vividness. The world isn't neatly categorized, and our understanding of it should not be either. The focus should be on the cohesiveness of human existence. 


How's your _________ life? 

Fill in the blank with the word of your choice: 

...anything else you think of...


Questions like this can be useful. They certainly have a well-intentioned purpose: to move beyond a general "How's it going?" to actually talk about specific areas of life. This is good.

But I feel that there is a tendency to do with our lives what so many teachers have done with their subjects: divide them up into manageable, definable chunks that have little dialogue with one another.

Instead of seeing life as a unified whole, we see it as composed of separable parts. And so often to cope with the craziness of it all, we find that it is much more manageable to keep life separated into those parts instead of thinking about life in a holistic way. This compartmentalized view has the potential to strip away the fullness and wonder of the gift of life. 

I don't want a strong, thriving, {insert item from list above} life. I simply want a strong and thriving and abundant life. All of it. Each element brought into harmony and interplay with the others by the unifying element of my relationship with Jesus, so that the many facets of my life are interwoven into one rich life.


I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. ~John 10:10

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