Friday, May 17, 2013

Not Just A Wannabe Theologian...

In the past few weeks I have begun to romanticize a life that would center around religious reading, meditation and contemplation. Oh, what a lovely life it would be! How wonderful it would be to spend my days praying, reading spiritual books and researching the Bible, talking to others and thinking about things of a spiritual nature from dawn to dusk! I could indulge into spirituality without the distractions and time constraints of my worldly life.

It's not that I don't enjoy my role of being a professional therapist or wife, mother and friend... I do! I do! But it just seems there just isn't enough time during the day.. the week, the month... the year to absorb and dwell on things "greater than myself" other than my small little life here on Earth.

The life of a full-time theologian seems so idealistic! My primary life focus would be directly related to God stuff... the "big stuff" that really matters... not the meaningless little stuff that seems to fill up my secular and utterly ordinary life. It would be my job to read and study about the Divine reasoning behind our existence... not an extra curricular activity squeezed into the moments between life's other distractions and demands!

A few weeks ago during a women's small group at church I asked the women "Who would go to seminary if it were fully paid for and all your needs were met?" There were only two of us who enthusiastically agreed it would be awesome! The rest of the group looked at us like we'd lost our minds... and perhaps we had!

Of course, the conversation immediately was steered to how unpractical this idea was... not to mention: What about the children? I mentioned the possibility of an on-line option but I think at that point it was clear... I was just dreaming a theoretical dream of living the life of a theologian... not the wannabe variety I felt like I was settling for.

But wait. A thought came into my mind! What is a theologian? Although it it commonly understood as someone who studies God professionally... couldn't it also apply to those of us who study God in the "school of life" with the Holy Spirit guiding our curriculum and assigning our professors? But how is the term theologian defined?

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers:

theologian /ˌθɪəˈləʊdʒɪənn
a person versed in or engaged in the study of theology, esp Christian theology

Within this definition I see myself... by far no expert in my knowledge of God, however, yet more than just a "wannabe" for sure! By this simple definition I am a theologian... an everyday, ordinary one... with no formal degree or certificate required!

So what does it take to become a theologian? Nothing more than the willingness and desire to understand God. By reading the Bible, spending time in meditation and prayer, pondering life's meaning, thinking spiritual thoughts... or just by reading a blog such as this qualifies you as a theologian as well... an everyday theologian, just like me!

As Pastor Robb Ryerse put it so eloquently in his book Fundamorphosis: 

"You do not need a Bible college or seminary degree to be a theologian. Nor do you need a professional theologian to verify your wonderings and wanderings. You don't need to know all the proper theological labels to explore the big questions. You don't need to be able to spell infralapsarianism to wonder if God loves you and how to experience that love. You are free to question, to doubt, to wonder, and to wander. You are free to explore and to think and to believe. Theology is open before you like a clear blue sky ready for you to float into it and be carried away to greater heights of understanding and love."

So, perhaps being a professional theologian is not my calling... and that's okay by me! But I am more than just a wannabe theologian... but a true God-seeking gal wanting to bring a little bit of Heaven unto Earth every day as directed by Him. God is present in our ordinary moments of life as much as He is present in the Church's sanctuary. He is with all of us reaching back as we reach towards Him. So, everyday folks like you and me shouldn't feel like we are just wannabe theologians... as we are the real deal.

In fact, I think us everyday theologians play an important part in God's Ultimate Plan... living our ordinary lives we are able to reach out and touch others who would be unreachable by those whose theological responsibilities lie elsewhere. We can experience God in our own unique way, being used for His Purpose... even if it's not our "official job". You see, just by being engaged in seeking God and with the desire to understand Him... anyone and everyone can be a theologian!

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