Wednesday, August 31

Flash Back

So I'm in this class. Is it a class? Its a pass or fail thing and you get one hour of graduate work credit and its called Spiritual Formation. Its odd. Being in a class called Spiritual Formation where participation is required. Every session we are given a different spiritual practice to practice. Every session we have to write a paper about our experience. If we don't complete every assignment or attend every session you fail.

Participation is mandatory. You can actually fail at Spiritual Formation.

I get it. I do. One should not go through seminary without being spiritually formed. Still, how helpful is it to compel a person to journal? Maybe I'm just whining because I'm not in a place in my journey right now where I don't feel like journaling. Its not that I doubt the worth of the practice. I have kept faithful journals in the past. I'm just not there right now. I'm not there and yet, because I don't want to fail I feel almost blackmailed into writing in a notebook. I don't think that's spiritually forming. Or particularly helpful.

It very much feels like my days as an undergraduate at a Baptist university. We were required to have 120 spiritual life points in order to graduate. You could earn points for your soul if you attended Convocation or volunteered your time at an approved religiously affiliated charity. Looking back years later, I don't think those things were particularly helpful or spiritually forming.

But that could just be me.


The Bug said...

I remember during Journeyman training we had all these random things we were required to do - women couldn't appear in public with wet hair, we had to make our beds & we couldn't leave anything on the bed (even our Bibles). Supposedly this was to get us used to having to abide by culteral rules we might not understand (for example, in Zambia it was NOT ok for a woman to wear pants - we had to wear dresses or skirts). But in general I thought it was just dumb & their attempt to mimic boot camp (ha!).

Even looking back 20 years later I don't see the value in that approach. So I understand your feelings of rebellion. I think you should write all about them in your journal :)

Katy said...

You're right! This is the perfect journal entry. Its a place to start anyway...

Thanks Bug!