Whenever I’m asked what I hope to do with my English degree, I usually respond with a shrug and a hopeful grin. I have no one goal for my degree, because the path so far has been anything but unilinear.
During my freshman year, I studied the Bible and its context in the Israel & Archaeology First Year Program. Our studies included Israeli history and Jewish religion, and we visited the Holy Lands, putting image and experience to our newfound knowledge.
Throughout my studies, I found myself particularly drawn to the languages and narrative devices of Scripture. I thought I might pursue an English minor, as I still wanted to take Bible classes. My advisor assured me that I would still take Bible classes no matter my focus, so I declared myself an English major.
It didn’t take me long to realize I had made the right choice. I’ve found deep joy in learning how authors incorporate themes into their narratives. This literary knowledge has affected the way I lead Bible studies and discussions at my church. I’ve also spent the last two years involved in Cairn’s Opera Theater program, learning how to portray characters dynamically in speech, song, and dance. All the effort that goes into the show is worship, an opportunity for me to lose myself in honoring God.
And yet, I don’t view these diverse pursuits in competition. My professors have all wanted the same thing from me: to love and serve the Lord. As a freshman, I often felt I was drowning in waves of new and uncomfortable knowledge, but my professors encouraged me to be patient with myself.
The ethos of their responses is the same: Holding on to Christ amidst the questions is more important than having the answers. That is what I will try to hold to, whether I go into ministry, theater, writing, teaching, or some strange unforeseen combination of them all.
Scotty Meiser is a junior pursuing a BA degree in English.