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Grad School as Worship

I find myself these days in my third semester of grad school.

I wasn’t sure at the beginning of the week if I was ready for the semester to start. Summer flew by. I was only beginning to get used to the lazier schedule. But after having attended my first class yesterday morning — Recreation, Tourism, and the Environment — I’m definitely ready.

If you’re a fellow grad student, and you’re anything like me, you have a love/hate relationship with grad school. On the one hand, you hate all the work and the deadlines and that very acute feeling of angst you get when you think about your thesis or dissertation and the fact that you have zero updates to share with your adviser.

On the other hand, you love to learn. You actually like reading academic articles, especially for their potential to shed new light on your topic. And let’s be honest: Writing a really good paper or finishing a chapter of your thesis is such a rush.

The fact that we’re enrolled in another semester shows that the love side is winning.

If you ask me, I think that the love side should win out for another, transcendent reason. That reason? Worship.

If it sounds like I’m heading off on a tangent, stick with me.

We who spend some of our time each week in church are often reminded that worship is more than just the 30 or so minutes we spend singing songs on Sunday morning. But how imaginative do we allow ourselves to be when we think of what all worship comprises?

For those of us in graduate school, our more-expansive view of worship ought to include our studies.

Our searching out and delighting in the truths of the universe as God created it constitutes worship — from studying how supernovas form to deconstructing The Great Gatsby to dissecting various economic theories. All of it. The deeper we search for truth and meaning in the world the more we who place our faith in God see His fingerprints all over everything. I am convinced God takes delight every time I realize one more way my studies in geography — which span philosophy, sociology, psychology, and many other other social sciences — corroborate the truths in His Word.

All discussions of how pursuing a graduate degree has a tendency to discourage marriage aside (because this is Boundless and we know those discussions are going to arise), consider this blog post permission to believe that your being in graduate school is glorifying to God.

Now go do the best job you can of worshiping our Creator with the mind He created in you.

If you’re in grad school these, let’s hear from you. What are you studying? How’s your thesis topic shaping up? Despite the frustrations — the late nights, the dead ends, the research rabbit trails — what keeps you going? And what goals do you hope to attain with your degree?

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