“Keep reading,” my teacher said when our class was working its way through some challenging theological writings. We were told that if we just kept going, kept turning the pages, eventually it would start to make sense. So I kept reading and kept turning pages, waiting for understanding to lift itself from the page like a golden swan lofting itself skyward with wisdom on its wings.
Eventually, understanding came. But not the golden swan variety. Rather it came like a blue collar crow moving branch to branch, steady and workmanlike, nearly hidden within the dense foliage of the maple outside my window, making its dark presence known only by the occasional caw and cry.
Study is not a glamorous pursuit. It takes place hidden amongst the foliage of folios and the branches of books. There may be an occasional caw and cry, or even the rare glimpse of a golden swan. But mostly it’s just the steady and workmanlike turning of pages and writing of notes, moving slowly from branch to branch amidst the rustling summer leaves of dog-eared texts.
I can’t yet say how well I understand the works I’ve read. But I can say that I have kept reading with a steady, workmanlike perseverance, moving page by page like a blue collar student seeking to build a home for wisdom.