scott mcknight on “breathing”

Scott McKnight is a professor at North Park University in Chicago whose blog I link to from this site. I’ve found much of what Scott writes about the Scriptures to be incredibly helpful in my relationship with Jesus. In a recent post on his blog he wrote about our tendency to cram WAY too much into our lives. I’ve become convinced that this tendency of our ours is absolutely devastating to our pursuit of Jesus. Scott’s response to this? Breathe.

Cramming, after my sophomore year in college, was not an option. Ron Mayers, my philosophy professor, gave us a choice: You can either take a final comprehensive examination or you can write an outline to the history of philosophy. I chose the latter – and if I remember accurately, I finished my outline at 4:30am on the day it was due. The first half of it was solid; the rest began to get wobbly as the synapses in my brain became just as wobbly. I learned very early in my academic life – and it has lasted now for more than 35 years! – that the best way to learn was daily work, the deepest way to write something was steady preparation, and the healthiest way to live was to avoid cramming.

Some people “breathe” or relax or refresh themselves the way many college students cram – instead of breathing on a routine basis, they hold their collective breath as they fill their schedule with meetings and phone calls to make and events to attend and places to go and e-mails to write and checkbooks to balance and movies to watch and games to play and services to attend and Bible passages to read … I could go on. Discovering that their pace is so breakneck, these same busy folk schedule a weekend off – but to pull it off, they must go out of town or take a whole week off. In other words, they “cram” into their busy schedule some relaxation but have to get out of the house to breathe.

Ever try to cram in some relaxation? It helps, but it doesn’t solve the problem. Perhaps you feel in the expression “cram in some relaxation” the tension that cramming creates.

Read the rest at Scott’s blog, The Jesus Creed.

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