During my time in college, I fell in love with biblical studies. I dreamed of being a college professor someday, helping students understand the Bible and live in its truths in the same ways that my own professors had helped me. So after undergrad, I went straight on to seminary to begin pursuing a master of arts in biblical studies. However, a year and a half later, I was burnt out, unhappy, and couldn’t keep going.
I decided in December of 2014 to quit grad school and “do something else.” The decision was made the week before finals, so everything happened rather quickly and without a lot of planning. I didn’t know what I was going to do next, I just knew I needed to do something different. As I sat and thought and prayed and pondered, my childhood dream of being an author or writer kept coming up. I felt like I’d failed in what I set out to do by quitting school. However, it occurred to me then that perhaps the academic work I’d done could serve me in a different way than I intended.
The world Christianity is full of voices. Some of those are hateful or angry or bitter. And often those are the voices that get heard the most clearly. But there are also soft, loving voices that come from hearts transformed by Christ. And those voices strengthen us, encourage us, and challenge us to be better.
It is one of those voices that I would like to become. I can’t claim any incredible qualifications that make my voice a better voice than those that are already speaking. But I believe that my academic training allows me to speak about the Bible in ways that some voices are not. The academy often has much to share but doesn’t know how to share it with those outside the ivory tower. I also believe that my own life circumstances have taught me a number of valuable lessons that make my viewpoint one worth hearing. Each person experiences life in a different way, and much can be learned just by listening to how another thinks of or perceives something.
It’s my hope that my words will be helpful to someone. If they are, it won’t be my own doing, but the activity of Christ through me. I’m just grateful that you would take a chance to listen.