THEOLOGIANS and CENTIPEDES
Portrait of a Student
The theology professors here speak to us earnestly and knowledgeably in well constructed sentences using history, illustrations, their hard-earned academic degrees and also of course the Scriptures, and even personal experiences and
some sharp humor — all in efforts to reach our hard-working
brains — and hearts too— and also to startle us when we need it. I do enjoy these classes.
They were doing all this one day in Spring when a centipede (centipedes are mythologically claimed to have a hundred legs— but we wouldn’t want to count them) unexpectedly walked onto the notebook I was writing on. So I fell into day dreaming. “O excellent creature,” I said to him, “how do you manage to walk with all those legs? Did they teach you when you were new? Do you move them in series of pairs or individually — ones with threes, twos with fours and so on? How can you walk so smoothly having to manage all that anatomy?” The centipede listened attentively, got confused and stopped walking. (Analysis can cause paralysis.)
Still daydreaming I imagined a scene where I was walking along and all of the sudden a large potted plant fell from goodness-knows-where, and just missed my head before crashing in front of my feet! I began to recover from the shock and started to offer thanks when suddenly our theology professor appeared from nowhere saying, “Wait a minute! I saw all that. Who were you thanking? Was it the Father or Jesus? And was it Providence or Grace that took place? And if Grace, then what sort of Grace?” So I began puzzling hard and never did get back to offering thanks.
But whoa! Back to the voice in front of class. Goodbye, centipede.
It will be nice to start for home on spring break this afternoon, but I do enjoy this class, although it is difficult sometimes to reconcile theology with everyday doings on the spot. Oops! Dropped my Bible. (So many books to carry.) Oops again! It’s not just an ordinary book to carry. It’s a remarkable-thousands-of-years-old Treasure, and you don’t just drop a thing like that!
…Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Colossians 2:2-3, NIV)