Thursday, May 19, 2016

Well Said: Moved by the Seasons, Moved by the Inklings

Humans change when they reflect upon the same truths year after year. Given the unique experiences of the year and their prior experiences with those truths, the ideas morph and take on new significance. Just as repeated activity allows someone to master an action; so also repeated reflection forms a person’s thought processes and heart. Via habituation, people are transformed. The church calendar’s intention is to help Christians meditate on Christ’s life, enabling them to consciously put on virtue and put off vice as they move through the cycle year by year. Its intention is transformation. …

Like the church calendar, I too am moved through the seasons, but they are seasons directed by the thoughts of the Inklings. I move from wrestling with doctrinal conundrums to wondering at the beauty contained within Christianity. Repeated consideration of the Inkling’s curriculum changed me. I found myself understanding my problems and successes through their ideas and stories.
Leilani Mueller, Arriving Where We Started, The Curator
Of course, I know intellectually that I am formed by what I read repeatedly. And what I reread has changed over the years. So who am I formed by now? Years ago I'd have laughed at the idea I'd love and reread Tolkien, Dickens, C.S. Lewis ... and certainly never Dante's Divine Comedy. Yet here I am being formed by them.

It's when the realization moves from intellectual to slapping me in the face that I wake up for an instant to the extent that reading transforms me.

Just the other day I was dealing with a particularly humbling realization and Jack Aubrey from Patrick O'Brian's seafaring series popped into my head. The insights I gained were grounding and, now that I think of it in this context, formational. I am seven books into the 20-book series. Though I am not rereading ... yet ... my slow listening to Patrick Tull's narration is slowly and surely sinking in and helping change me.

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