Winter Break: Safe-Haven and Catalyst

Published: January 16, 2013

As the fall semester came to a rapid halt, I found myself trying to plan out a break with many visits to friends, numerous reading sessions, and listening to a few new albums. The holiday break hit quite abruptly and all of my planning fell flat. I was so beautifully exhausted that I could not bring myself to plan out a schedule and follow it to the “T.” Rather, I was much more satisfied with stirring the burn pile in my backyard, lounging around on our lovely leather sofa, watching football, and reading long-anticipated articles on ABP. After a few days of this, I got tired and ached for the chance to return to the Divinity School. I missed the challenge and the constant interaction with heaps of theological information.

embersMuch like the fire in my backyard, the leaves of fatigue and stress fell upon my shoulders from finals. Consistent with the life-cycle of a burn pile, my fiery fervor for studying had been covered by the remnants of my first semester of divinity school. By this I mean to say, I was very weary at the close of last semester. Thoughts like “Do I truly have what it takes to keep this up for more than two years?” and “Am I really cut out for this rigor?” entered my mind during the week of finals.

While burning the leftover leaves and rotten wood, I considered how the brush fire was similar to my first semester at Wake Div. Although the flames had disappeared, there remained a deep heat at the center of the brush fire and my educational pursuits at Wake Forest. The wonder of a burn pile lies in the fact that roughly two or three days after last tending the fire, one can place mere kindling and leaves back over the coals and be back to flames within minutes.

It is here that I find the fire to be heavily consistent with my feelings toward Wake. I am absolutely ready to get new kindling of memories with friends and more stumps of theological materials to renew my passion for learning. Yes, my break did not flourish with many new books read and subjects uncovered. Rather, I was able to regain my passion for such learning by having the time to process my personal changes from the semester, as well as the course materials from the semester. Like a brush fire, my flames are burning up the old remains of my first Wake-Div-ian semester. I am ready for more fuel to be put on the fire in order to burn it up through processing and practice.

John-Mark Brownbrowje12
First Year