You Are Here: An Excerpt from {INSIGHTS} Vol. IV

oh hey there stocksy

oh hey there stocksy

Here's a little glimpse into a never released article, You Are Here, found only in Volume IIV of {INSIGHTS}, available here.

Where you come from matters, and where you are now matters. The distance in between is equally as important.

Yeah, I’m speaking more metaphorically here. For example, I’m from a small town on the Appalachian Mountains and studied English and History as an undergrad and have always been a passionate Catholic. Now I’m a campus minister in the middle of a big city on an Ivy League Campus, and for that first year I really struggled with the “why” and “how” did I get here. I felt so out of place, like the worst candidate for the job, no formal education in theology, and my mind just tumbled down that stupid road for a while. It took a solid year for me to understand that it’s precisely because I’m different: wholesome, polite, and my faith is more from experience and emotions than doctrine and books, that I realized I’m the perfect fit for this rough place.

Ok, not perfect. But I’m needed because of that. And my point is, a lot of time its context like this that can help us find clarity in whatever narrative we find ourselves living out.

But even not metaphorically speaking, distance, geography, and scenery matter in a strictly literal sense. If we read the New Testament with an understanding of the geographical topography of Christ’s ministry while on earth, the Gospels and parables will take on new depth. Let’s take a look at just a few examples.

The Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea

At the northern region of Jesus’ ministry we have the Sea of Galilea. The Jordan River flows out of it and settles into the Dead Sea. We’ve heard stories about how nothing lives in the Dead Sea, and there’s so much salt there that you could float on top of it. But what’s the Biblical significance of this? If we contrast the Sea of Galilee which is a lush and vibrant area, we understand that it not only receives minerals and is fed by underground springs and various rivers. It’s thriving in nourishment, and it gives it away. The Dead Sea, on the other hand, only takes. There is no outflow for it and because of this, it kills itself. Like grace, we must receive and give, accept and offer to have lively souls. If we keep our gifts and talents to ourselves, we will have a deadened interior life.