Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Intellectual Can Be Another Word for Lazy

Okay, so I like catchy, controversial titles. It’s because they attract more attention than conventional ones.

Seriously, though, there’s some truth in the title. Let me unpack it. (And by the way, this is all about my laziness, not yours. Relax, we’ll deal with you next time…kidding.)

While other elementary school girls were learning to clean house, cook, bake, knit, sew, I wanted nothing else than to visit the local library and fill my head with as much information as possible. I have always had such a drive to learn that other pursuits have often fallen by the wayside. It’s not exactly that I dislike working with my hands. It is only that my desire to have new ideas constantly filling my mind, has eclipsed most other pursuits.

As a mother of five, this is most impractical. My day has to begin, end, and be filled in between with all kinds of work. None of it is work that I really mind doing. It is rewarding to make a soiled fridge sparkling and fold clean smelling clothes. My only hang up is my constant draw to ideas. “If only I could grab a second and read a little of this.”

However, recently I have found a way to merge these two areas of life into one: the iPod. I absolutely love to clean anything while I have something interesting playing on my iPod. I only do this while the little ones are napping, since when they’re awake I want to be interacting with them. But instead of the old naptime dilemma of: I really need to do all this house work but I have so much I want to read, I can do both.

When starting into the world of podcasting, the most important thing to remember is that only a few things are really worth listening to. I was a bit overwhelmed when I first started looking through the iTunes store at all that was out there. But it didn’t take me long before I realized that Ecclesiastes 12:12 is as true now as ever: of the making of many podcasts there is no end. But the verse before it says: “the words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd. 12 My son, beware of anything beyond these.”

There are a million podcasts out there that we could fill our cleaning hours listening to, but we should beware of anything unwise. Justin Taylor from Wheaton has a blog that specializes in posting on the best stuff on the web. That’s the first place I go when I need direction. Desiring God has all kinds of different ways to search for helpful sermons, by category, series, topic, book of the Bible, etc. One of our family’s favorite off that sight is a series of biographies that Piper has done over the years. These are not actually sermons--they are lectures--but you will be amazed at how Piper brings heroes of the faith to life and inspires us for our time as well. It will provide food for thought for months to come. William Tyndale, St. Augustine, John Bunyun, William Wilberforce, and more. A feast for the mind!

We have a set of books by Jay Adams that I have been wanting to read: The Christian Counselor’s Manual and three others in the series, put out by CCEF. They are about Christian counseling which is something that I’ve never studied. (There’s this type of person who wants to know everything about everything, and I’m that person, so even though I never intend on doing any formal Christian counseling, I just want to know.) I knew I was never going to have time to read this thome so I was thrilled today to come across a link on Justin’s blog to podcasts put out by CCEF. The one I listened to today was called A Christian Perspective on Grief. I put 4 other interesting ones on my iPod: Fear and Counseling in the Church, Marriage Counseling, CCEF and the History of Biblical Counseling, and Counseling and Sanctification.

A Christian Perspective on Grief was interesting me. These are the kinds of ideas that keep me feeling happy for days as I go along my work with the ideas bouncing around. As long as I have stuff like this to feed my brain, I could clean on and on.

David Powlison gave a biblical critique of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross' five stages of grief. We have all been familiar with those five stages since elementary school, and may never have thought to question them, but Dr. Powlison made some thought-provoking points. First, he questioned whether or not Ross’ points were actually stages, or if it would have been more accurate for them to be labeled “possible reactions.” Most of his talk centered around the fact that as Christians, we do not grieve the same way as those who have no hope. That does not mean that we are sinless in our grief or grieve perfectly. But we should set a higher bar for ourselves and strive to grieve in a way that shows our ultimate hope is in heaven. He claimed, Christians may actually feel more pain, not less. This is because if someone’s ultimate hope is caught up in this life, the here and now, they may not be able to face the pain. This is where denial can come in, anger, bargaining, depression. As Christians, we always know that deep down inside, absolutely nothing can take us away from Christ, our ultimate hope. Therefore, we are granted the ability to face our grief plainly, without coping mechanisms. To be a Christian does not mean no grieving: Jesus wept. Instead, it means that we grieve in a way that is open and clean and that our wounds heal with smooth scars. Beautiful stuff; can't wait to listen to more.

The toddlers nap time is up, bu-bye!


adoptionroad said...

The Jay Adams series is worth every second and not necessarily intended for professional counselors. Our class emphasized that as Christians we are to counsel one another within the church using the Word. (Colossians 3:16; 2 Tim 2:4) It used to be that people would seek the counsel of the church and the pastor for counseling. Now the pastor refers them to the doctor who refers them to the psychiatrist who refers them to the pharmacist. We need more laymen within the church exhorting others using the sufficiency of Scripture.

David Madeira said...

Leslie, I'm pretty sure the last word I would ever use to describe you is "lazy."

Robyn and Nathan said...

Leslie, you are pretty much the antithesis of laziness. I, on the other hand, should take heed of this. I definitely would not describe myself as intellectual, but let's just say I spend most of the day writing, reading books, and listening to music. I know I don't have any kids, but I am sure there is other work I could be doing. *sigh*

Lisa said...

Leslie, I am right there with you! I do the same thing. When I have new ideas bouncing around in my head from a podcast or sermon or whatever, I can get so much more done. I download V7 sermons to relisten to them and also sermons from one of my favorite pastors and teachers Buster Brown at East Cooper Baptist Church in Mt. Pleasant SC. Thanks for letting me know about some new ones.

Leslie said...

I need to clarify something: the title was thorouthly tongue in cheek! All of you who have been contemplating how you're going to break this too me gently, can put your mind at rest: I am so far from an intellectual I'm not even exactly sure what one is.

For instance, if you were to name off to me the classic works of literature that "everyone's" read, Milton's Paradise Lost, Homer's Illiad and Odyssey, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, I'd have to admit I have not read most of them.

I once embarked on an mission to remedy this. I made up a list of classics I was going to read and made it a whole two chapters into Don Quiote before giving up the endeavor entirely. I then returned to my regular reading diet: status updates on Facebook.

Seriously though, Robyn, if you're not an intellectual, I'm braindead!