We live in a health-crazed world. With the help of the latest technology we are able to track information about our health with the simple push of an app on our smartphones. Even without the use of smartphones, we have access to an incredible amount of information on how to maintain health. Yet, heart disease is the leading cause of death here in the U.S. Despite everything that is accessible to us, hundreds of thousands of Americans are affected by heart disease, and its two leading causes? A poor diet and a lack of exercise. So what does this have to do with life in seminary? I believe that the leading cause of “death” in seminary is also heart disease. Allow me to explain.
Average Americans consume much more than they need to and without a source of output (exercise) we are at risk of heart disease and the same is true for the seminarian. As seminary students in the modern age, our accessibility to information is remarkable. We sit under some of the greatest teachers in our seminaries, but we can learn from many more through the use of the internet. At the click of a button we can buy and read books from nearly anywhere in the world. With a simple swipe and tap of the finger we can even open the very Word of God, wherever we are! A great blessing as it is to live at this time, it is also a time that requires greater responsibility for if we are not careful we will find ourselves at risk of spiritual heart disease—consuming without exercising.
I sincerely believe that the key to staying healthy during your time in seminary is to exercise what you learn. Your head may be filled with some great and beautiful knowledge, but if you are not exercising that knowledge by way of service to Christ’s kingdom and people, the arteries of your heart may be beginning to be clogged with pride. If this is you, you may be at risk of spiritual heart disease.
Thankfully it is not too late to fight against this disease for there is a great Heart Surgeon. As we strive to learn more about God and His Word, may we not neglect the exercise of loving service that our learning requires.
By Daniel (Je) Park. Daniel a current M.Div student at Westminster Theological Seminary in PA. dpark1006.tumblr.com