I am sitting in Starbucks downing a Venti Christmas Blend, I have Saturday morning soccer on the TV, I've got Phoenix on the headphones, and I am writing a paper on my favourite book in the whole world. Does it get any better than that?
Of course there is more to the story. I had to walk here through sub-zero Arctic winds. But these were quickly forgotten once the coffee made its way into my body. The venti came at a grande price, which was a nice surprise. The game on TV is only Reading v. Bolton, but that's perfect since I'm supposed to be working anyway. If it had been Liverpool I might not be getting much done. I did catch the one goal so far and got to see the top 5 goals of the week as well.
Meanwhile, since there is some pop-"Christian" music on in the coffee shop, I've got Phoenix's "It's Never Been Like That" blasting in my ears, and it is wonderful. I work best with noise. Familiar noise. So I'm putting together my thesis proposal, entitled: "Theodicy in The Man Who Was Thursday." If you've never read this book you should. But if you haven't read it you won't get why I could write a thesis on it. So here's an exerpt from my proposal:
"Using imaginative narrative rather than systematic theology The Man Who Was Thursday probes questions of God's apparent hiddenness and the problem of evil. Along the way its characters are allowed to pose some of the hardest questions of life:
Through the bizarre and nightmarish experiences of these characters and the story’s protagonist, Gabriel Syme, who almost certainly represents Gilbert Chesterton himself, readers are allowed to wrestle with mystery and see God behind it all."
"I am not happy," said the Professor with his head in his hands, "because I do not understand. You let me stray a little too near to hell."
And then Gogol said, with the absolute simplicity of a child:
"I wish I knew why I was hurt so much."
Anyway. Just thought I'd share this golden moment at seminary. If you don't know me you'll just think I'm a nerd. Actually, you probably think that if you know me too!
By the way, you should really get a hold of Thursday and read it. I recently purchased Orson Welles' radio adaptation of the book. He introduced it this way:
Roughly speaking it’s a mystery story. It can be guaranteed that you will never, never guess the solution until you get to the end; it is even feared that you may not guess it then. You may never guess what The Man Who Was Thursday is about, but definitely, if you don’t, you’ll ask.