Some years ago my husband and I went to Las Vegas for the first time. I was prepping to teach a class, and found the research fascinating, so I took several books and even a dvd along (yes - in the days before streaming). The first morning at breakfast, I am talking about my class with so much excitement while John is looking like I've lost my mind. "We are in Vegas," he said, surprised at my enthusiasm for the subject material. To which I responded, "The stories I am studying make Vegas look dull."
Not sure I convinced him of my point, but the class I was prepping was my course on Henry VIII. While I realize you too may now be yawning - because most of the things I am truly interested in would shut down parties - I couldn't get over the historical scandal, debauchery, religious nuttery, sexuality, executions, and so much more. I was having a rowdy romp through history then - and I am so excited to be about to repeat this course with a new group of friends starting January 23. I often find that some things are wildly insightful and entertaining - if we just give them the chance. Because these crazy stories about Henry VIII in the 1500s actually affect the way you do church - and life - in America - in 2022.
Another time we were on a trip with work friends while I was researching a class on Moses. The book I was reading was insanely fun - but of course didn't look like it. A friend on the side of the pool was also reading - but when I asked her what her book was she bent the cover back so I couldn't see. "You're reading a book about Moses," she said with a laugh. "I don't want you to see this!" I couldn't convince her to share her book, nor could I convince her that mine was not at all what she had made a judgement on.
I have so many times something like this has happened to me, like when a biblical genealogy (yawn) left my mouth hanging open (shock). When a bestselling book actually sent me down incredible rabbit holes of spiritual discovery. When historical theology became a contemporary, applicable life lesson. It is there, all around us. It just depends on our outlook and what glasses we are wearing.
Good teachers invite us in to the fascination of stories that otherwise might be boring. They make the pages come alive in history, in the Bible, in literature, in life. I am so thankful for those people who invited me in to an experience with things that some find boring - but have so much to reveal. I'm 100% convinced that if you give something new a chance, you may find more pizazz than you expected. Barbara Brown Taylor calls this becoming "a Detective of Divinity."
Consider this an invitation to experience some of these amazing stories - I'd love to share with you the way that others have so kindly shared with me.
Hey, if I am reading this stuff on vacations - it *must* be good. After all, what happens in Vegas... is worth telling stories about! Come have some fun with us. Hope you will join us for a class this spring!