Participating in our fast got me thinking about not only food (food, glorious food!) but also how we feed ourselves with knowledge every day.
So, we need to ask ourselves a question: What do we take in on a daily basis both actively and passively? Your participation in class discussion, readings, sections are all active forms of knowledge consumption but then there's a whole slew of more passive ways we devour knowledge - our addiction to social media, conversations with friends and folks we meet and know. And all the time we're consuming not just knowledge but worldviews, values, and beliefs within the Yale community.
There is no coincidence that the image of 'alma mater' in Sterling Memorial Library reminds us that everything else can become subservient to feeding ourselves from the vast fountain of knowledge here at Yale - in fact, in the fresco truth and light are beneath knowledge. But surely that's ok? I mean, isn't that what brought you to Yale? The pursuit of knowledge? Look at what a Ph.D. student wrote about the alma mater fresco:
“In college mythology, Alma Mater [or Mother Knowledge] replaces actual mothers, to pro-create knowledge itself, and a whole new family of knowledge seekers. The entrance to Sterling makes this clear—the translation of the Egyptian transcription reads: ‘Would that I might make thee love books more than thy mother’”
So I want to sound a note of caution - if knowledge is all you end up pursuing, in all it's myriad of forms - I propose you'll know a lot but be ultimately empty and never satisfied. Knowledge IS endless (to a degree), entertaining, delightful but Alma Mater only goes so far. For those of us who follow Christ, we believe there is more than knowledge to gain - there is wisdom in God. This wisdom is truly endless but more so it will satiate you like knowledge never will and will provide a life of purpose, joy, and peace beyond what you can truly imagine.
And Paul addresses this in 1 Corinthians (1:18-25, Message Interpretation): look at what he says:
Ask yourself these questions:
1. On a daily basis, what do I drink from? What feeds me?
2. Does it nourish me? Does it satisfy me?
3. Does it seem like there could be more?
Jesus stands up in the midst of a Jewish feast and reminds them that He's the source of living water - water that will satisfy and satiate like no other.
Never experienced it? Or only just the odd sip? Come and drink of Jesus and experience the fullness of God.