The First Paper Part Two: Lightbulbs


Good morning friends!

After my last post, I think some people thought I was spiraling toward depression over this paper! In truth, that's what it felt like! The paper was being written, and words were finding their way onto the page, but it felt a bit like running on a treadmill. Work was getting done, but it wasn't going anywhere.

For as much as I can't stand the "Self-Loathing" stage of writing a paper, it is absolutely worth it for the stage that comes next. Sitting on my living room floor last night after Veritas, I started thumbing through the insanely large book that I almost read for this paper (and am mercifully thankful that I changed my mind!) Jesus and the Victory of God by N.T. Wright. Wright is someone my professor told me I should contrast Johnson with, and so I started just thumbing through the book, and hoping to stumble across something I could use as Wright's opinion of Johnson.

Did you know, books these days come with a device known as an index? And, when authors reference another person and/or their work, they tend to list every occurrence of these references right there in the back? Lo and behold, I was now sitting on Wright's DIRECT opinion of Johnson, rather than having to find a quote that would theoretically work, I had the direct quote in my hands. Not only that, but Wright's quote led me to another book that I just so happened to have on my shelf, and that book led me to another. But the end of 15 minutes worth of work, I had about 3,000 pages worth of material at my feet. But more important than that, I had direction. The light bulb went off, and I was off to the races. As of this blog post, the paper stands at 6 pages long, meaning I have too much information. This will come back to haunt me tomorrow when I enter the editing phase, but for the moment it makes me want to do a dance right here in the lobby of Starbucks!

Not to over theologize my own paper writing experience, but I wonder how often in life we don't take for granted the dark times in the light of the "lightbulb" moments? Yesterday, I was convinced that this paper was going to be the worst thing I've ever written. Today, I'm actually quite proud of the little bugger! It's important during the dark times in our lives to recognize that light is coming. It might take a while, but we live with hope, because hope does not disappoint us.

And in the meantime, it doesn't hurt to dance when the lightbulb comes on!