With lots of homework, too. But I'm reading Randy Alcorn books for now...I'm so tired of all the hopelessness at school that makes me want to cry...with the constant stream of ideas that I know are contrary to God's Word but that I have had little time to measure accurately against it. I'm tired physically, too, but that's just the way it's going to have to be.
Reading stuff by Randy Alcorn really makes me stop and think. For one thing, he says things very well...especially for a Christian writer. And his ideas make sense. And he's talking about issues that interest me greatly...things I intend to make a big part of my life in the hopefully not-too-distant future. But I guess what has really made me stop and think is the stuff he has said about having an eternal perspective of my life here. In the last few weeks, I have come to realize how little I think that my secular education really "counts" for what God would have me do.
In fact, I've been convicted at just about every turn as I write what I know teachers want me to say...even while realizing that I'm selling myself short by not digging deeper. But who wants the deeper? Who wants me to get it down to the issue of truth? All I have to do is consider matters on a superficial level, the level the teachers give to us in class (if they're good teachers, that is)...and I've got what they want, apparently. Maybe more details would be helpful, but the essence of the "opinion" I've expressed is pretty much what they desire. I feel stupid saying the things I've said, though. And it's not that they're wrong in a sense so much as that they fall short.
As I evaluated the questions my Western Civ. teacher gave us to prepare for the essay part of our first exam, I began to see a recurring theme in my general answers (based on the material presented, that is)...and do you know what that theme was??? Hopelessness! For every comparison of religion, government, and daily life in ancient civilizations, I saw the same thing...the same characteristics, the similar motivations and their outworkings. And that is exactly what I wrote in my essay; I conveyed an idea that the teacher had strongly implied if not explicitly stated. "Good thoughts," by his standards (unless he was being kind, which I'd like to hope)...and he's probably the most thinking teacher out of the several I've had so far. But I didn't say what I really thought, and that's what bothers me...I really think that the issue is not all the characteristics of politics, religion, and daily life (although they matter), but one of whether what each culture believed was true. In my teacher's approach, it's pretty much all false...or greatly stretched, at the very least. Not a very hopeful approach, but perhaps an "objective" one. But at least I could ask the question about truth, right? I didn't, though.
I struggle to discern whether it's enough to write these things down at all or whether I must say them to a teacher. Most of the time, they don't fit the assignment...of course, my idea of fitting an assignment is giving the teachers what they want. And, after all, I'm not really there to share my opinions with the world (though some would say that I'm opinionated). How honest must I be?
I turned in my little analysis of Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House, but did I ever get down to what I really thought was true of Ibsen's ideas? No, indeed! I was simply analyzing his story. Shouldn't my analysis consider whether what he thought was correct? Yet when there's any potential for disagreement I find it easiest to avoid it so that I don't have to deal with any difficulties.
Randy Alcorn's emphasis on the "Audience of One" made me think, though. Does it really matter what grades my teachers give me? Does it matter what anyone thinks of me? This life isn't going to last forever. I know that it does matter that people see Christ's love through me, but my desire for their acceptance and even agreement is primarily self-centered...I want my arguments to be so strong or so qualified that NOBODY can disagree with them. Maybe that would be great in a court of law, but here in life...things are true or not true regardless of my ability to approve them, regardless of whether I've analyzed them fully. What am I worth if I'm unwilling to say what I believe...which I wouldn't believe if I didn't believe it? (After all, a person can only believe what is convincing to him.) If I can't stand up for what I believe, I'm really not sure that I belong in school. Sure, I face the issue of casting pearls before swine, something I greatly desire to avoid, but...I think I probably suffer more from the folly of concerning myself with what others think of me rather than considering their true heart responses. In reality, all that should matter to me is that I be a vessel used for honor.
Of course, I've had a few doubts lately about how honorable a vessel I really am. Maybe it's just the way the real world is, but I find people not assuming me to be as naive as I assumed they would assume me to be.;-) Sorry about the assumes, but I assume you'll get it. Seriously, I expected my conservative dress to make them think I'm some kind of goody-two-shoes Sunday school girl, but that's not quite the reception I have gotten. I'm not sure whether it's because I don't emanate naivete quite as much as I had anticipated or whether people just aren't familiar with "my kind." I told some people in my class today that I was home schooled and one of them seemed quite surprised (I don't know if they others were or not). To me, it seems pretty straightforward and obvious...shouldn't everyone be able to tell? Apparently not. I also expect them to think me inferior for it. (What IS up with that in my thinking, anyway?) I expect them, at least, to consider me ignorant...on just about everything. But even my English teacher seemed a little surprised when I told her that I hadn't heard even the most common terms for specific literary devices until I took Comp. I last semester. At the very least, I'm not projecting the image of myself that I have...not at all in the same negatives and positives. And I'm really not sure whether that's good or bad. But we shall see.
Anyway, I'm thinking about doing some serious journaling this week if I can force myself to do it. I know it will help to get out pent-up thoughts and emotions, but I'm not sure if I have the energy. I have lots of things I want to ask you all. I can't remember what it is at the moment, though...so I'll have to come back some other time in the not-too-distant future.=) Have a great spring break!