I am loving being at college. It is a daily joy to me.
I don’t particularly like the lectures;
or the assignments;
or hospital chaplaincy placement;
or my fellowship group [the group dynamic, that is; not the individuals].
I don’t necessarily find these things
either interesting or enjoyable.
But I can genuinely, wholeheartedly and unreservedly say that I love being at college.
I observe that not a few of my fellow students are not loving being at college.
I observe that several of them find
the lectures, the assignments, the placements and the groups
much more interesting or enjoyable
than I do.
But their experience of college is nonetheless not a particularly happy one.
My reflection is this:
That I have consciously chosen to
embrace the experience of being at college
be embraced by the college community;
and others have chosen –
consciously or unconsciously –
not to do so.
I do not think that makes me better than them.
But it undoubtedly results in a greater experience of ‘at-one-ment’ with God and my self and my neighbour; it both enables and evinces a measure of healing in these three fractured dimensions of relationship.
The whole is not the sum of the constituent parts.
Rather, our experience of the whole is determined
by our perspective on the whole.
The parts are bricks and doors and windows and roof-tiles and so on.
But it is the imagination of the architect that determines how they combine.
And it is the spaces between the parts that light and air and people flow through…