Ponderings: Short Cuts

I recently read an ad that came unsolicited to my emailbox.  There’s a place where you can pay money and get an educational degree in four weeks.  You can pick the one you want, all the way up to a Ph.D.

Besides whatever we might say about it being a ‘scam’ (from an educational standpoint), the ad caters to the “short cut” mentality, which seems to be resident in the human being.  In fact, I believe it is arguable that one aspect of the Fall in the Garden of Eden was that Satan based the original temptation on the desire to accomplish something “quickly and easily.”  Just eat the fruit, and you will be like God.  No need to walk with God in the garden day after day—“presto-chango” you’ll be your own gods.  Strolls take time, a bite only takes a second.

Spiritual formation invites us into a journey, not into a drive-through lane offering fast-food.  Until we understand this at the level of our souls, we will run the risk of falling for the “get a degree in four weeks” lie, and all other similar ones.  Whenever we catch ourselves asking, “How long does this take?”—-or—-“When will this be over?”—-we’re already thinking with the short-cut mindset.

God does not give a “graduation” mentality.  Rather, God instills in us the spirit expressed by Saint Francis, as he arose each morning, faced the rising sun, and exclaimed, “Today, I begin with God!”  And knowing that he was journeying with in infinite deity, he never imagined that the trip included short cuts, or even an ending point.  May God give us grace to think the same way.

Oh….don’t write me for the email address of the degree mill.  I won’t send it to you.  🙂

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.