Three weeks deep into my second year of veterinary school, I finally have some time to reflect on the past three months of my summer.
Sigh. Where to begin?
The lessons I have learned while both at Summit and at the emergency veterinary hospital are not tangibles easily described or defined. They are more subtle shiftings of my outlook, my character, and even my personality.
First, my outlook. While at Summit I was blessed to be surrounded by many people who held a wide variety of viewpoints and opinions quite different from my own. Although during previous summers on Summit Staff I was too quiet, reserved, and insecure in my own thinking abilities to engage any of these wonderful people in actual conversation, this summer my curiosity won over my pride. And through these encounters I discovered, for example, that deep-thinking committed Christians can be pacifists and have very good and convincing reasons behind their beliefs; there are serious contenders for the faith that disagree with the typical A Beka history lesson that the Founding Fathers were morally correct when they dissolved our ties with England in the 1700’s. The examples abound. I am not saying that I agree or disagree, that is not the point. The point is that these people challenged me in viewpoints that I thought were soundly solidified in my mind, and forced me to concede that I had not truly thought through my positions as thoroughly as I had supposed.
We in America, the complacent Christian capital of the world, find it all too easy to coast along in our own little “belief bubbles”, content with having convinced ourselves that we are right. It becomes the ultimate “separation of church and state” – we take this belief we have settled on and we hide and protect it, never willing to discuss it, never willing to let it be challenged. For deep down we know that if brought to light, the foundation would be revealed to be sand, composed of mere personal preference and whimsical tradition. It is a shame, for it leaves us intellectually dull and culturally useless. It is beneficial for our supports to be kicked out from under us every once and awhile. It reminds us how shaky are our own theories and conclusions unless we take the time to dig deep into the guts of our own convictions. It rattles our cages, and awakens us from our complacency, gently admonishing us to never settle in our Christian walks, but to pray and ask the Father to teach us, correct us, sharpen us as iron upon iron; to reveal our faults, whether they be indefensible lines of thinking or flaws of character. And most importantly, to reveal our pride and teach us the humility that comes with admitting that we know nothing save the Truth that our gracious Creator chooses to reveal to us.
Stay tuned for “The Summit, The Valley – Part 2”.