I am sitting in Panera Bread. It’s fall break. I’ve just eaten French onion soup in a bread bowl, and I’m sipping sweet tea. It’s good to be back in the South.
As I sit here, editing my paper on Plato’s Symposium, I am overwhelmed with thankfulness. I am listening to the beautiful Finding Neverland soundtrack, gorgeous piano music that I can play if I want to, because I’m learning more advanced piano.
I’m writing about something so wonderful: the pursuit of happiness through goodness and beauty. That pursuit of pleasure through physical bodies doesn’t actually end in happiness at all, but when we pursue happiness by pursuing things that are truly beautiful and good for us, we become increasingly happy, in a state of blessedness. It’s wonderful to be in a place where I’m writing about things that truly matter to me – things that determine the way that I live my life. It’s glorious to be studying such important subjects in philosophy, and hearing Plato and Aristotle speak to me through their writings and ask me to consider my life in such a different manner than many of us do these days.
I am so blessed. It’s a little bit hard to take in sometimes. I live in a beautiful, wooded campus of a university with professors that care about me and care about my soul, not just my intellect. I live with so many passionate, vivacious people who love Jesus so much. I live 20 minutes from a big, happening city where I can see orchestras, plays, museums, but also poverty and Christians actually living as Christ called us to live, loving the poor.
My professors speak often of the liberal arts education – that the goal of a liberal arts education is not to be well-rounded as well as earning a degree, but actually learning to be free. Liberty, liberality…libera. Free. I am being formed to think in a certain manner that actually frees me from the constraints of indoctrination and being taught what to believe. I am being freed to think my own thoughts, to pursue good things. I am being freed from the culture of today and what it says and encouraged to live as a free citizen who is instead seeking the good of myself and others. It’s an incredibly lively way to learn and lively way to live.
I am learning more and more the mastery of instrument and my voice, the appreciation of music and sound in general.
I am diving deeply into Christian tradition rather than evangelicalism – there’s something so wonderful about partnering with generations thousands of years past, speaking the same words, and submitting myself to the wisdom of the church fathers of old, rather than relying on my feelings. God is such a God of truth, and I love worshiping the Word as such.
And for all of this,
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end, Amen.