Because life is a series of edits

Archive for June, 2006|Monthly archive page

The Professor’s Office

In Thought on June 30, 2006 at 4:21 pm

Beginning this summer, Learner is teaching/research assistant for a very popular professor here on campus. Basic responsibilities include grading one-page reflection papers in which people interact with assigned books read, as well as longer 10-15 page papers that are actually apologetic letters students are assigned to write to a non-believer they know.

But on top of these duties (and other more academic ones to come), most of Learner’s work for the professor this summer has been a major office organization overhaul Learner has dubbed “The Genesis 1:2a Project” (“The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep…”).

Five full trash bags and twenty hours later, Learner has yet to really make much of a dent in the deep. Sitting facing the desk, here’s what you would see:

Table to the right: three file holders with a collection of files in them. The furthest one to the right holds files on literary figures, the middle one holds small random folders, and the one to the left holds other various folders. These will all get assimilated into the filing cabinets, but Learner had to do something with them until then.

Continuing to the left of the three file holders, there are two stacks and a box. These are what the professor needs to go through and decide what he wants to keep and what Learner can pitch. Whatever he doesn’t throw away, Learner must find a place for it. The remaining things on the far end of the table are just waiting to find a file home.

Across the desk, you would notice that both it and the two tables on the rug are clear of files. This was Learner’s progress yesterday. On the righthand corner of your desk is a package on top and underneath are some bags of books the professor wanted bibliographed. On the left hand corner of the desk, there are four different pages that were most current and Learner wondered if the prof needed them.

As you continue to look to your left, you would notice that Learner cleaned out the shelf above. There are only two files there now (there were dozens before): the first is a Faculty folder the professor used to take to such meetings; the red folder is a file on higher education training and development. Learner thought the two tied together, so he put them there for now.

In the closet behind you, you would notice some stacks, but they are quite condensed from what they were. These are the professor’s edited class files, put here to get them out of the way before Learner places them (either as is or even further segregated) into the archival filing cabinets across the room. They’re grouped by class/like topic right now (and some stacks are bigger than others – apologetics files, for instance), and Learner is planning to group them as such in the cabinets or break them down further to lighten their loads.

Learner’s plan was to have the professor go through what he did/didn’t want of the two stacks and the box, and then hit the archive filing cabinets (three in all, including three rows of full shelves above). He was planning to get the cabinets consolidated and then rearrange the books (7 bookcases’ worth) according to what the prof wanted. This all seemed

However, the good-natured professor sprung a surprise on Learner this afternoon, showing him the attached bathroom on the side of his office where, to the professor’s visibly embarrassed chagrin, a box of papers sits behind the door and a bathtub/shower literally filled with boxes of files as well. This, Learner says, will easily add another 15 hours to the project, not even counting the work aforementioned (which will easily be twenty hours or more).

Learner’s application: If becoming a professor, learn to love organizing as much as teaching. Or, just get an idealistic, sucker-of-an-assistant who is more than willing to do it for you.

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Learning About Limits, part 3

In Humanity on June 30, 2006 at 2:00 am

What are the implications of not embracing God as a good giver of limitations? Many of us recognize God's sovereignty to limit our knowledge of certain things, but do we embrace it? And if we don't embrace it, how does that work its way into our relationship with him?

One implication of not embracing God as the good giver of limitations is that we may doubt God's goodness, authority, and love for us. Like my four daughters (who sometimes misunderstand my discipline of their disobedience as more punishment than care), we can view God's withholding of knowledge – whether in the Garden or in our lives – as being mean…conspiring…unloving. God, we reason, is not responding for our good but for his, and we can create a picture of him that perhaps may be domineering, controlling, and selfish when nothing could be further from the truth.

A second implication of not embracing God as the good giver of limitations is that we may become bitter or angry by our perception that God is seemingly limiting our success (defined here as "what we want" and not necessarily "what he wants"). Most of us never outgrow our two-year-old selves: we want what we want. If we come to the conclusion that God not only limits the fulfillments of these wants but that his whole purpose is to limit the fulfillment of these wants, we then skew his character (and we become the lesser for it).

How we respond to God in dealing with the limitations that he placed on us is key. Jack Miller of World Harvest Mission once wrote:

"The normal Christian life consists in our being compelled by limitations to turn to God for his strength. A normal ministry is one of weakness reaching out to God for his unlimited power."

With regard to our limits, are we living a "normal" Christian life? Or are we "abnormal?"

Why Jesus Is No Superman

In Thought on June 28, 2006 at 2:00 am

The new Superman movie releases this weekend, and the majority of the early reviews are positive. Newsweek and World ran glowing pieces on the movie, and a variety of other media less mainstream have also jumped on the bandwagon.

Personally, I've never been much of a Superman fan. I never bought the "disguise" of Clark Kent's glasses – come on! – and the whole underwear-on-the-outside-of-the-leotards thing (as well as the increasingly cornball sequels that came out in the early-80's when I was a kid) didn't help foster my affection for the guy.

Still, if "Superman Returns" can do for the Man of Steel what the recent Spider-Man and Batman Begins (the latter of which I thought was an amazing superhero film) did for their masked heroes, I'm more than willing to give this movie (and character) a fair shake (especially with Kevin Spacey, who is always fun to watch, as Lex Luthor).

In reading through some of the buzz yesterday, I came across this New York Times review, which seemed overly-fixated on Superman's savior complex. Here are a few quotes of interest:

"There's always been a hint of Jesus (and Moses) to the character (of Superman), from the omnipotence of his father to a costume that, with its swaths of red and blue, evokes the colors worn by the Virgin Mary in numerous Renaissance paintings. It's a hint that proves impossible not to take."

"Every era gets the superhero it deserves, or at least the one filmmakers think we want. For Mr. (Bryan) Singer (the film's director) that means a Superman who fights his foes in a scene that visually echoes the garden betrayal in 'The Passion of the Christ' and even hangs in the air much as Jesus did on the cross."
As I haven't seen the movie yet, I won't share any convictions that go beyond my experiences. However, I was intrigued by the reviewer's alignment of Christ with Superman, if for no other reason than I think it's a bad one (and not for the reasons you might assume).

From a literary perspective, Jesus is no Superman because Jesus is not a flawed character. Talk to any author, actor, or fan of any genre of literature, film, or theater and he or she will tell you that flawed characters are the most interesting to write about, play, or watch/read about. Jesus' "problem" (at least literarily speaking) is that he's perfect.

Is the idea of a flawed savior precisely why people admire characters like Superman and walk away from someone like Jesus? If so, what this seems to suggest is that our definition of what a savior is is often more about how we ourselves compare to him than what he saves us from.

People root for Superman because they can relate to a hero having flaws (in Superman's case: a severe allergic reaction to Kryptonite, a guilt complex about not being able to save his parents from Krypton's doom, a squelched love for Lois Lane). On the other hand, people despise Jesus because they can't relate to not having flaws – no killer allergic reactions, no forever-severed relationship with his Parent(s), no personal devastation at romance denied.

Aligning the Man of Sorrows with the Man of Steel doesn't really compare apples to apples, and Jesus – not Superman – sadly comes out the loser in the public eye. The truth is, when it comes to saviors, we like ours flawed because it makes being saved that much less humbling.

Maybe that's why we tolerate Superman in tights with the underwear on the outside, too.

Oy Vey

In Thought on June 27, 2006 at 8:05 am

Learner has his first Hebrew exam (dubbed “a major quiz” by his prof) this Thursday. This “major quiz” will take 45 minutes to an hour.

Currently he’s trying to memorize the vocab card for “Oh, crap.”

Sad Solomon Squad

In Thought on June 25, 2006 at 7:35 pm

Over the weekend, I heard this (click, scroll down to “Solomon Squad,” and click “Listen”) on NPR and was again reminded how desperate and confused parents can be trying to raise kids.

In the clip (about 11 minutes long), a father is consulting the Solomon Squad whether/how to confess to his son that he (the father) experimented with drugs when he was his son’s age (12). Dad has little consideration for what’s wrong and right here (i.e. legal); he seems fine with his son doing drugs, as long as he does so only recreationally and doesn’t get addicted.

Initially, the dad’s “counselors” seem comparable to Job’s in their pragmatic processing, but they get it right (mostly) in the end. If you’ve got a few minutes, take a listen. There’s definitely some room and a need for the Gospel here.

God help us…parents and kids.

Welcome Back, Half Pint House

In Thought on June 25, 2006 at 2:00 am

After spending most of yesterday afternoon (and evening) celebrating the wedding of Clif and Corrin with my substitute wedding "date," Tom, I went to church this morning (helpful message from Greg on "The Ministry of Presence"), and then watched the Cardinals get shellacked again by the American League (0-6 on this last road trip – the Redbirds have no pitching). During the game, I addressed about 75 print versions of the digital newsletter we sent out last week (let me know if you'd like to be on our email list), and am now about to leave for a 30th birthday party for friend and Hebrew study-buddy, Mitchell.

For those who know me, this amount of social interaction is more the exception than the rule. But, every now and then, I "cut loose" (relatively speaking, like in relation to a herd of turtles).

Tomorrow, Megan and the girls get home from their "Go West, Red Van" Colorado trip, so the amount of noise and activity is sure to pick up. As I know they've had a great time on their 12-day excursion, I think it's okay to say the same about my time here. It's been enjoyable and quite productive as I had planned it to be.

As Megan and I have been married almost ten years now, we've spent plenty of time away from each other before: various conference weekends, assorted week-long ministry trips, as well as a couple of 10-day mission trips to Uganda that I've taken. But unless I'm forgetting something (and Megan will remember if I have), this 12-day trip may be the longest we've been apart since we've been married, not to mention the most impacting on her, as she is the one doing the traveling this time (and with four little girls – my trips have usually been alone or with adults).

A respected friend of mine who travels a lot in his ministry says he tries really hard not to be gone from his wife and kids at any one time longer than ten days. When I asked him why, he said studies have shown that after ten days, the effects on a couple from being gone from one another become more than just felt but damaging to small degrees in terms of the marriage.

Though he didn't go into detail or give his sources, I trust his perspective (you would too if I dropped his name) and his experience (twenty-plus years on the road); as a result, I thought long and hard with Megan on whether this trip was a good idea or not. In the end, it seems to have been okay (I know it's been fun for her and the girls to see so many of our Colorado friends while sharing that experience together), but I'm not sure I want to do this all over again next week (or even next month). It's too disconnecting and, as a husband and father, I'm feeling it.

Thankfully, during the course of our marriage, I've never had the kind of job that ever required me to be gone too long from my family, but I know many who have and I feel for them (sometimes I even think to pray for them). Maybe I'm just a homebody (okay, no "maybe" about it), or perhaps I just get nervous when the five most important women in my life are in a single van driving across the vastness of Kansas, but I will gladly give up the quiet and freedom of these past eleven days to see them pull up in the parking lot on Day 12.

Godspeed, ladies. See you tomorrow.

Learning About Limits, part 2

In Humanity on June 24, 2006 at 2:00 am

Three doctrines I feel the most limited in my understanding of are 1) the Trinity of God (that He is three in one); 2) the person of Christ (that he is both fully human and divine); 3) and the co-existence of God's sovereignty and man's choice (that he is sovereign over all of history and our lives, and yet we are responsible – and sometimes even significant – in history for our decisions). How do we explain away these tensions? How do we resolve the seeming contradictions?

We don't. We can't. And that's what frustrates us.

A lot of us assume our inability to know all we want to know (about God, about the universe, about what McDonald's does to french fries to make them taste so good) has everything to do with the Fall – if it weren't for the choice made in the Garden, we could be privy to all these secrets. And yet, going back to what I alluded to in my previous post, God's limitation of our knowledge was inaugurated before the Fall and had nothing to do with our choosing apart from him. In fact, even if Adam and Eve had never chosen apart from God, we would still be limited in our knowledge for no other reason than God ordained it to be so from the beginning.

Could this relieve some misplaced frustration that we can't know everything we want to about everything we want to? It should. We might not beat our heads as hard against a theological wall trying to understand the Trinity; we perhaps wouldn't spill so much ink as to whether Jesus was more like God or man in his nature; we possibly wouldn't struggle with the seemingly-contradictory ideas of God's sovereignty and man's will inhabiting the same existence (though this one is always the hardest for me to wrap my head around). It's just not for us to know.

Again, Genesis 2:16-17 tells us that, from the beginning – even a beginning of perfection – God placed limits on our knowledge; thus, no state of perfection (or lack thereof), no lack of capacity nor particular prohibition is the culprit of our limitations. Rather, our struggle today (as it was for Adam and Eve then), is not so much learning to live with the limits of our knowledge, but rather learning to live with the knowledge that God placed those limits upon us "in the beginning." This unwillingness to submit to God's limitations is what we really struggle with.

This, friends, is known as our sin.

(Note: Parts of this essay were inspired by/somewhat paraphrased from an unpublished article by Jerram Barrs entitled "Limitations of Knowledge." Used by permission.)

One Year Ago This Week

In Thought on June 23, 2006 at 6:49 pm

One year ago this week, I, Tychicus, began chronicling the life and times of Learner for all to read. It’s been quite an experiment, one that I have relished despite Learner’s perpetual rolling of his eyes at my enthusiasm for his seminary plight. Deep down, I think he likes having his thoughts (random and otherwise) out there for others to read, but he would probably never do something like this himself.

At least if he has, I don’t know about it.

In thinking through this past year, the temptation is to look back and reflect, but Learner has asked that I not do that as, he says, “Nostalgia is a form of mental illness.” As Mrs. Learner has accused him of being so reminisciently sick at various times since movng back to the Midwest, Learner suggested we consider the future and leave the past (at least for now) behind.

However, in considering topics for such posts, neither one of us had much of an idea as to what we should include. So, I turn to you, dear reader (if indeed you are there and dear), and ask you for your opinion. Is there any particular question or direction you would offer as to how to proceed from here? Any thought as to where to go? Anything you are just dying to know?

As it’s been a year, I’ve finally turned the comments on and would encourage you to make your voice heard, even if it’s the silliest or most serious of postings. And, if there are no postings to be shared, perhaps I’ll take that as a sign that my work here is done.

Our fate is in your fingers, dear reader. Speak and we shall listen…

Learning About Limits

In Humanity on June 23, 2006 at 4:56 pm

In a lecture titled, “A Man Worth Knowing” at Hillsdale College (and reprinted in its excellent – and free – Imprimis newsletter), historian David McCullough tells this story about one of America’s most important founding fathers:

“On July 21, 1756, at the age of 20, John Adams wrote this memorable entry:

‘I am resolved to rise with the sun and to study Scriptures on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday mornings, and to study some Latin author the other three mornings. Noons and nights I intend to read English authors…I will rouse up my mind and fix my attention. I will stand collected within myself and think upon what I read and what I see. I will strive with all my soul to be something more than persons who have had less advantages than myself.’

But the next morning he slept until seven, and in a one-line entry the following week he wrote:

‘A very rainy day. Dreamed away the time.’

There was so much that he wanted to know and do, and he would have moments when he thought life was passing him by: ‘I have no books, no time, no friends. I must therefore be contented to live and die an ignorant, obscure fellow.'”

Like John Adams (if I can make that comparison without laughing), I don’t deal well with the reality that I am a finite person. I don’t like that I need to sleep, and until college – when I learned in my sophomore psychology class of a sleep-deprivation experiment that actually killed the mice involved – I somehow had convinced myself that sleep was just a case of mind over matter. If you didn’t want to sleep, you didn’t have to (never mind that I sometimes did).

But I’m starting to feel it – my limits, that is – and they go far beyond just sleep. I’m beginning to see limits in my ability to learn; in my exhibition of patience with others; in my opportunities; in my interests; in my passions; in my energy; in my desire to do all that is right; in my time. Regardless of what I think I want to do, I’m (finally) realizing that I have limits. And this is difficult to admit – to others and especially to myself.

Author Douglas Coupland muses that when we turn thirty, our “hard drives” become full and there’s no more space to put in new information; whatever we learn just writes over what was once there. It’s an interesting thought, I suppose, one I’ve wondered about in the midst of my efforts to learn Greek and Hebrew. Do I just not like languages or is there some actual disability I have that others don’t that makes it that much harder for me? Unfortunately, my quiz grade in Hebrew last night might provide my answer.

Limits in life, however, are more than just ones of capacity; there are also ones of prohibition. Sometimes even if I want to do something, I can’t for various reasons – I want to watch 24, but we don’t have cable and our antenna here in our basement apartment won’t pull in Fox no matter how I move it; I would love to sit down with the President and have a few words concerning some of his policies, but the Secret Service would never let me get close enough to see him, let alone talk with him.

This kind of limitation also includes my trying to get into the Cardinals baseball game on Father’s Day with a ticket that mistakenly was for the night before. I didn’t get in, as apparently there were rules that applied to such a situation (and awkwardly so, I assure you).

I wonder sometimes what I would be like if I had no limits of capacity – if I could learn as much as I wanted; if I could be everywhere whenever I wanted to be; if I could get done all I dreamt of getting done. I wonder also what I would be like if I had no limits of prohibition – if I could meet whoever I wanted; if I could attend whatever I wanted; if I could do whatever I wanted.

Who would I be as a limitless person? Who would you be? And isn’t it ironic that the one limit originally placed on us in the Garden (Genesis 2:16-17) was multiplied exponentially as a result of Adam and Eve’s pursuit of no limits?

About Second Drafts

In Thought on June 23, 2006 at 12:49 pm

It’s been a long time coming (or so it has seemed) getting back into the blogosphere in earnest. For those who might be interested, I previously blogged on the TwentySomeone site for three years or so (August 2003-January 2006), as well as made a recent 2-3 week trial attempt at a MySpace account (the latter’s not my best work, but there was some good stuff “back in the day” on the former). All that to say, I’m back.

Here’s what you need to know about Second Drafts:

My friend and TwentySomeone co-author, Doug Serven, is right when he says the idea of writing a book is a lot more appealing than actually doing it. In fact, a lot of bookwriting (at least in our experience) amounts to “vomiting on the page” and then rearranging what sticks. Doug is fond of the vomiting part; I tend to tolerate the rearranging (though we each did a fair amount of both).

Likewise, life is much like bookwriting, as so much of living is really editing what we and others “throw up” (again, continuing the vomit metaphor). Anyone can come up with a first draft of something; writing the second draft, however – revising thoughts, letting go of bad choices, and improving the overall whole of the manuscript – is the more difficult part of the process…and the most rewarding.

So, with that in mind (and just to be sure I run the metaphor fully into the ground), my goal is always to think about life “editorially” – listening for Voice, considering word choice, getting rid of fluff. You’re invited to bring your red pen along (or your purple one if red is too threatening) and mark things up with me, or just wait around for the finished project.

A word of warning, though: if you wait, you’ll probably wait a long time. Writing and life are both too confusing without community. You’re welcome (and wanted) as part of mine.

Malcontent with Bible Content

In Thought on June 19, 2006 at 9:45 pm

Learner got his Bible Content exam back tonight: a 99. That’s three points better than his score last year, but still six points shy of what he needs to test out of the class (a 105). His next chance is in July; if he fails that one, there’s one in August, but if he doesn’t pass that one, it’s “hello” to an extra (and involved) three-hour class all this fall.

While it was a different version from the initial test taken (and harder, Learner thought), he’s having a hard time equating the last year of his life spent studying with only a three-point improvement. Granted, a majority of the questions missed were (presumably) random and trivial (if things in the Bible can be called “trivial”) bits of information, but still…only three points?

Of course, as alluded to in the previous post, the question becomes whether or not to study in some kind of earnestness the 80-page Bible overview document Learner procured last year from the Renaissance Man. As the test in July will be yet another version, it’s not like Learner can accurately guess at the content and what he perhaps missed to get right next time. And yet how realistic is it to put in the necessary time to study and remember a majority of dates and places sprinkled throughout the entire Bible?

Perhaps a solution would be to not worry about the test and just take the class. After all, he reasons, the point of seminary is to learn the Bible and not just test out of a class concerning its content.

Hmm. Maybe he’s learning something here after all…

Spring Grades and Such

In Thought on June 13, 2006 at 10:11 am

Still no word on the results of the Bible Content exam, but Learner wasn’t too worried about that last night as he was taking his first of three Hebrew quizzes – in the first fifteen minutes of class!

Thankfully (though slowly), he did well and remembered 95% of what he had crammed into his head as it relates to Hebrew consonants, vowels, and syllabification. He thinks he may have more of an initial crush on Hebrew than he did Greek last summer, but pulling his vocab cards out this morning, he says it’s hardly love.

In other academic news, Learner got his spring grades back:

Apologetics & Outreach: A
Covenant Theology: A
God & Humanity: A-
Elementary Homiletics: B+
Gospels: B

All seemed according to what he thought he’d earned, but he was disappointed (though not at all surprised) by his homiletics score. Unfortunately, while he prepared and gave good messages, he didn’t jump through enough “hoops of structure” pushed in the course, and probably got what he deserved (though not what he agreed with).

Like that’s never happened before, he says…

Bible Content Exam in 30 Minutes

In Thought on June 10, 2006 at 1:32 pm

Learner is preparing to take (for a second time) the seminary’s official Bible Content Exam, a comprehensive test aimed at evaluating a student’s knowledge of the Bible. All incoming students are required to take the exam, and each has two chances to pass it instead of having to take the class for an entire semester.

As Learner missed passing the thing by nine lousy points last year, he gets to take it again and will do so in about half an hour, along with all the new incoming students this summer. Apart from all his study of the past year, he’s not really put much else into it, so he may end up getting what he deserves. Hopefully, he says, a year’s worth of seminary education will make nine points worth of difference.

If not, he says he’s going to feel really stupid.

Hebrew Tonight

In Thought on June 8, 2006 at 9:08 am

Summer semester finally begins this evening, as Learner is set to begin Hebrew. Thanks to a cram course with Albert last night and a little review this morning, he knows (or at least can recognize) the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet (writing them is a different story). He’s got his grammar book and the professor’s exercise packet from the bookstore (as well as his flashcards) and is desperately trying to train his mind to read right to left.

Now all he needs is a yamika.

Overheard

In Thought on June 4, 2006 at 12:07 am

Overheard at yesterday’s seminary summer kick-off picnic:

Rob (standing over grill, cooking brats): “That’s one hot fire.”

Learner (standing near Rob, helping cook brats): “Yeah, I’ve always thought burning to death would be one of the most painful ways to go.”

Rob: “Actually, they say that after the first minute, all your nerve endings are singed, so you don’t feel anything.”

Learner: “Who’s ‘they?'”

Rob: “I don’t know.”

Learner: “That first minute would be pretty long and painful.”

Rob: “Yep.”

Somehow neither of these two seem ready for martyrdom.

Mover for Hire (Minus the "Hire" Part)

In Thought on June 1, 2006 at 9:08 am

‘Tis the season for people moving – in and out. Learner and I just returned from helping yet another family move into their student apartment here on campus (after helping three different apartment neighbors move out last week). Fortunately, things ran smoothly and the whole process of unloading only took an hour and involved no stairs (always a good thing).

Learner remarked to me while we were “schlepping” (his word for “suffering while carrying something large”) a couch how interesting the whole moving phenomenon is. Referencing his own move-in last summer, Learner said that if he somehow had power over society to exercise some kind of worldwide cultural change, he would make it so that if/when people move, they leave all their basic stuff (big furniture, etc.) and just make do with the stuff left by someone else where they are moving to.

This, Learner said, would solve a lot of moving hassles (not to mention put the moving industry – rental trucks, storage units, etc., which Learner thinks is nothing but a price-gouge and should be criminally prosecuted – out of business). Of course, there would be other complications that would arise from this new model of migration, as people moving would not just be looking for a particular house or apartment, but also considering what is left in it. I laughed at him and his thinking, but in a way he makes sense (granted, perhaps in a parallel universe, which is where he usually is most of the time anyway).

Other observations Learner made this morning: people are insecure about having other people view and handle their things, especially if they have just met those helping them move; people moving always think (and say repeatedly) that they have way too much stuff, but no one has any real plans to do anything about it after it’s stuffed into their new living space; the five or six seminary students who show up with a smile on their faces are really not THAT excited to spend an hour or three schlepping boxes (these looks are the same ones reserved for when they meet with a professor for their end-of-semester oral exam); jokes and other attempts at humor during the moving process tend to be barely a step above your average 10-year-old’s and should be left to the professionals (i.e. late-night comedians and politicians).

Learner’s top ten rules for helping seminary students move are:

1) Always let the husband handle the boxes marked “fragile”.

2) Never comment on how you think the move is going, particularly in relation to a previous moving experience (the people who are moving will feel insecure if they feel they’re being compared to another move).

3) Don’t shy away from the big stuff – somebody’s got to get it and it might as well be you.

4) Don’t shy away from the little stuff – same reason.

5) Do your best to honor whatever markings are on the boxes as to where they go (just throwing stuff in the first room you come to eventually blocks the path and doesn’t serve the new residents well when they go to unload).

6) Let the seminary student who is moving in believe he really has an outrageous number of books (even though he doesn’t).

7) Drink plenty of fluids.

8) Don’t get bent out of shape that you have to spend time doing this (ask yourself HWJM?: “How Would Jesus Move?”).

9) While the principle is right, disregard the rationale behind #8 – it’s stupid.

10) Never forget that, at least at seminary, you once had to move in and you will have to one day move out – be the kind of mover you want to help you when the time comes: quick, quiet, and quip-resistant.

More moves to come this summer. As always, I’ll keep you posted.