Friday, May 4, 2007

Spiritual Autobiography- William Woods University

Track 5: Revolution

You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world…

-“Revolution” John Lennon and Paul McCartney

I burst into college with enthusiasm; I was determined to take over the school by the end of my senior year. I was idealistic and had way too much first-born-child “I have to succeed” gusto. I found great friends in the interpreting department and joined a sorority of intelligent, driven girls. What I didn’t find was a place to belong spiritually.

My William Woods friends may criticize me for stereotyping, but this was my impression as a freshman; there were two types of people at WWU- the evangelical fundamentalists and the apathetics. People either went all out of for their faith, or they just couldn’t care less. There was really no place to belong for a open-minded, easy going Disciple like me, and I fell into a strange sort of melancholy loneliness. I was outside of the supportive arms of my church, eight hours away from my family, and lost.

Track 6: Yesterday

All my troubles seemed so far away
Now it looks as though they're here to stay
Oh, I believe in yesterday

I'm not half the man I used to be
There's a shadow hanging over me
Oh, yesterday came suddenly

-“Yesterday” John Lennon and Paul McCartney

Spiritually, I let myself mope. It seemed much easier to wallow in my loneliness and isolation than to actively seek out my own path. I tried going to Campus Crusade for Christ a few times, but always when I went I would love the music and then find myself groaning when it came time for the sermon. A line from “Jesus Christ Superstar” comes to mind- “Oh your followers are blind! Too much heaven on their minds…”

Suddenly the drive with which I had gone off to college had ground to a halt. I didn’t feel like praying, I didn’t find a church to go to, it just wasn’t a major priority in my life. No one pushed me spiritually, and while I was always open to new ideas and discussing religion, it just didn’t matter. Until I took an Introduction to the Bible course taught by Rev. C.W. Dawson, a southern-Baptist minister (at least in his preaching style, not his theology).

This class renewed my curiosity for religion. It made me curious to learn more about my own faith tradition and the way it came to be. I was hungry for knowledge again; not necessarily spiritual “God is with you” knowledge, but a solid historical knowledge of religion and how it affects people. Rev. Dawson inspired and encouraged us to ask questions, and even rewarded me when I was slightly subversive.

It was in this class that I realized I wanted to teach religion, but it’s not a very nice story. One day before class a couple of friends and I were discussing the Christian traditions of Easter and Christmas, and how they were basically pagan holidays that were taken over by the Christians to make conversion easier. Well I had known this since high school, and I assumed everyone else had too, but I was wrong. We made a Baptist minister’s daughter almost cry because she though Jesus was actually born on December 25th.

It was right then that I decided I wanted to teach religion so this sort of thing didn’t happen. So that people could understand the truth; so that I could understand the truth, and educate the world. I planned on finishing my interpreting degree and then using that to pay my way through graduate school in religion. While I still wasn’t participating in spiritual practices, or actively attending church, I was excited to have found something I really truly enjoyed doing, something that could give me meaning and purpose.

1 comment:

Themindtaker said...

You'll have to tell me more about that class with C.W. Dawson. I know you've talked about it before, but I'd love to hear more about it. :)

I love how everyone has their story of the exact moment when they decided exactly what they want to do with their lives. Next time we talk, you should tell me more about that Dawson class.

Also, I absolutely love that picture of you. You are so beautiful; I fall in love with you again every time I see you... even if it's just in a photo on the internet. :)