By far, my favorite season of the year is fall. Summer comes to a close, with all its freedoms and adventures. Nature sheds its green coat in a period of glorious golden surrender and gears up for another trek through the winter. Another year comes our way.
It is simultaneously the season of reward and renewal. We reap the fruits of our labors. We look back at our work. We set new directions and begin new chapters. It is a time of vibrant colors, flavors and warm conversations. More than any other time of year, fall seems to be the time that causes me to reflect on the reality of progress and movement in my life.
Progress is something that I think about a great deal. Nothing is more terrible to me than the notion of a wasted life, of wasted opportunities. Here are two mighty lessons I have learned lately on this issue.
This weekend I had the mighty privilege of visiting New St. Andrews College, located in the heart of the very progressive university town of Moscow, Idaho. Here, Doug Wilson and his band of classical christian thinkers wage a worldview war of sorts, raising the next generation of faithful christians that seek to live out all of Christ in all of life. The annual Wordsmithy Workshop is designed to do this precise thing in the context of thinking christians who want to write more and write better. It was quite the intellectual and spiritual feast and it set my thoughts and inspirations ablaze in a number of new directions.
The theme of the conference was the writing life of C. S. Lewis. We had the great privilege of having Micheal Ward (perhaps the foremost Lewis scholar on the planet) lead us in a deeper peek into the mind and work of this great and historic thinker. The following is my attempt at sharing some of the gold nuggets I take away from my time at NSA.
This week I am headed down to Moscow Idaho for the Wordsmithy writer’s workshop at New St. Andrews College. One of the homework assignments was to reflect on the influence of C. S. Lewis on my life so far.
To my great regret my personal acquaintance with the actual writings of C.S. Lewis are limited. Until now I have had the illusion that I knew him well because I have been surrounded by quotes and conversations about him all the time, I was well versed in him myself. Nevertheless, I do feel that the limited exposure to him that I have had has had a very important place in my growth as a christian and a thinker.
In some of my recent thoughts and readings, I have been digging through a good amount of history. Some of it for educational purposes, some it if for fun. Frankly, I have always loved reading history. To me, its always been an adventure that is more real or profound than any novel or fictional writing. History is the story of those who came before us; those who shaped the world to make it what it is today! Surely this is worthy of our time.
The most primary reason that I value reading history is because its such a rich opportunity to learn from the lives of others. When we deal with conflicts in our daily lives, the great challenge in making the right decision, or cultivating the right reaction is that we cannot know what our choices will lead to. But when we read history, we have a chance to sit in the background and watch the events unfold without knowing any pressure or struggle ourselves. We can sit in the shadow and watch how decisions are made, risks are taken, and victories are claimed. We can observe people and their behavior. We can learn from the past mistakes and their terrible consequences. What an excellent opportunity for life! Continue reading