Monday, October 24, 2011

Sometimes we change more than we think...and other ramblings!

As I have been re-reading Peck lately, I find that there are many (and I'm talking MANY) nuances to how I think that just weren't there when I first read these books 20+ years ago.  I am certain this is true because I am not the person I was then.  I have changed.  I have grown.  I have suffered great pain and loss.  I have had three sons.  I have been ordained, entered the pastorate, and left the institutionalized "church" experience.

Yeah, I'm in a completely different place than I was back in the 80s.  It is good to look again at those works that were important transition books in periods of intense growth ... especially when entering that process again!

Which takes me back to a comment I made on the Facebook group "Into the Wardrobe" concerning C.S. Lewis ... someone was wishing that he had written the "Left Behind" series ... which went lots of interesting places full of interesting assumptions all around.  Anyway, someone brought up the fact that Lewis was not a theologian.  And there is where I jumped into the fray:
Interesting thread ... it is an important note that Lewis was NOT a theologian and that he was using his incredible logic and literary depth to help clarify the common ground of all who name Christ as Lord. After he married Joy -- and especially after he wrote A Grief Observed -- i think a number of things that were once logical to a confirmed batchelor may have changed. I am sorry that we do not have more writing from his last days -- but grateful for what we have :-)

I read Lewis' Mere Christianity when I was 19 years old.  It was the most serious reading/thinking I had ever had to do ... and I read it again 20 years later ... when I was in a totally different frame of mind.  Some of the things I agreed with at 19 were not going down as well when I was 39....  I think that if Lewis has gone back and done a revisit to his Mere Christianity after his amazing experiences with Joy, there were many things he would have seen from a very different perspective.  A Grief Observed is really the only window we have into that perspective.

So ... back to Peck ... which I read for the first time when I was in my 30s ... and am now reading again in my 50s!  There were so many important concepts I learned from him that have been helpful over the years.  I am finding, again, that there is a difference when we are learning something because we think we need to learn it -- and understanding exactly why we need to know something. 

I first experienced that when I returned to college for my sophomore year, um, 17 years after my freshman year.  Yeah ... interesting story, that one.  Anyway, I was taking all the normal college classes, living in the dorms with the 18-21 year old students ... but I was now 35.  I understood why I was learning what was being taught because I had been out there working and living and had ready application for all of it.  This is why, of course, professors often love their adult students.... ;^)

I am, however, a little overwhelmed with reading Peck because there is so much that I truly wish I had understood 35 years ago.  Things that are foundational to life, but didn't turn up on my radar when I was growing up in the 70s.

And so, just as this abbess started out describing "reverse mentoring" in her chapter in Voices of the Virtual World, it seems she is there again ... perpetually learning what NOT to do or say or think or be based on trying not to follow poor examples, rather that having been mentored well.  What a sad commentary....

There is nothing more important than being a positive mentor in the life of another.  It is never too late ... but it is a lot harder to do later (although there is much more experiential "mulch" out of which beautiful things may grow!).

Well, this was quite a ramble, eh? 

Be blessed wherever you are in your journey.  May you see those Father is bringing to breathe love and freedom and fullness into your life ... and be present in the lives Father brings across your path, as well.


1 comment:

Shepherd Michael said...

Ah yes, M. Scott Peck! I first read "The Road Less Travelled" at the recommendation of a counsellor.
A big marker on my journey into wholeness and wellness.

Thanks for the sharing!