Before I came to seminary, I had a pretty good passage familiarity with the Bible. The stuff that came up in the lectionary was familiar. I could describe Sunday School stories with the best of ’em.
But since arriving here and diving into classes, my familiarity with certain Bible passages has grown by leaps and bounds. At one point buried beneath a couple layers of cerebral minutiae, such verses as Deut 6:4-5, 2 Phil 2:5-7, and Gal 3:28 are now never more than a few synaptic connections away.
This has had the effect of making my internal narrative sound a lot more epic. In the midst of a thought process, which I’m pretty sure features the same average syntax as the next person’s, some subject I’m thinking about will touch off a Biblical association, and BAM. Right in the middle of my happy, average internal monologue will drop a divine declarative. It’s like biting into a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich and finding a lump of caviar in the middle.
This happened the other day as I was driving down the road and, OH NO! Out jumped a squirrel!
As I gripped the wheel of my faithful CR-V, did the instant physics calculation and knew I wouldn’t be able to brake in time, the desperate thought that came to mind, directed at the squirrel:
CHOOSE LIFE! That you and your family may LIVE!*
Moses made it work with the ancient Israelites, and it worked with the squirrel, too! It happily chose life, and skipped out of the way just in time. My CR-V’s wheels remained free of the blood of the innocent.
St. Francis might have preached to the birds, but I shout divine declaratives at rodents. Thank you, seminary. Let’s keep rocking out that inner monologue.