Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Temple Archives

Life in "the temple" is full of study and rigorous training. The ever present learning philosophy of "go and find out!" never abates. Years ago the parallels between training martial arts and the normal Christian life were discovered to be glaringly self-evident. Ever since then, living as a Christian can best be approached through the "lens" of training in an ancient temple. Be it the Shaolin temple of China centuries ago, or the "prophet schools" of Old Testament Israel, these training arenas serve as the paradigmatic analogy for developing as a man in all facets of life (i.e. faith, family, etc.). As a result, it is often enjoyable to reflect on how current activities or events point at "life in the temple" (hence the blog title). In essence, one is always training. There is no rest. One simply must decide to what end and for what abilities they are training, but the training goes on nonetheless.

For this reason, it is a pleasure to presently work at developing the library for a educational institution. To search out and select the finest resources needed for the development of students conjures elating thrills of hunting for "big game." Acquiring the right tools for the education system is very satisfying. Images of equipping the "training arena" with adequate instruments spring forth from sentiments developed during days spent teaching kung fu. I'm often asked if a unifying theme runs through the seemingly divergent pursuits of library acquisitions and, oh say, martial arts. There is indeed a common thread of "training" that binds together all of these pursuits. The one who exercises the body at the gym has a great deal in common with the one that exercises the mind at the library. Being charged with purchasing selected volumes for the library's collections would parallel a corresponding responsibility to purchase quality weight machines for 24 Hour Fitness. In each case, careful attention is paid to finding those tools that the trainee will benefit from the most.

In addition to the above explanation, there remains the mysterious love of the "training arena." Simply to be involved in the workings of "the temple" brings inexplicable satisfaction. Tangentially, it carries rumblings of the ultimate goal of the professor's career. The education environment is magical for the learning that is facilitated there. The local university campus invokes the tinglings of "sacred space." Laboring to see "the temple" well resourced is part and parcel to the education "calling." The temple archives are an integral part of the temple's function to train up those who will leave it and serve the world. Walking between the stacks, I reach out and brush my hands over the volumes. The electricity sparks off of the spine labels into my fingertips. I feel the connection to the rest of the training arena. The "temple" is alive with its pulsating mission to develop people. "I love it. God help me, I do love it so."

No comments: