Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Old Paths, New Shoes

"I love typing on my iPad. It's like I'm on a typewriter. The forced pacing makes me choose words more carefully." Ethan Cross

My friend Stephen recently posted this on his blog. You should read it. Go ahead. I'll wait.

Back? Good.

The thing Stephen fails to mention is that neither he nor I carved that path into the grass. We both inherited it from the hundreds of Bailey Boys who had gone before. I still stand by my statement that I made those seven years ago when he was a freshman and I was a not-as-smart-as-I-thought-I-was Sophomore: Presbyterian College should have planned sidewalks around the paths students take, rather than trying to hold them to paths that don't always make sense.

Because we've inherited a system of paths from those who have gone before, and we don't always take the time to figure out if the solutions that were good and faithful when they were put in place answer the issues we face now. Our culture has changed significantly from when all these traditions started, and we need to remember why those sidewalks were put there, and why other sidewalks were not built.

Perhaps some people would rather have a dirt path that has been worn down by thousands of feet saving fifteen seconds a trip than have a polished sidewalk.

This brings me to the quotation that began this post. With regards to iPads and typewriters, it's not the technology that is important, it's the pacing. Both mediums (touchscreen and levered keys) develop a very specific, and slightly slower, rhythm to them, and makes the time spent on one's words a little more dear.

We are exploring new world in this time of change within the church, but we're also facing problems older than the pews in Anderson Auditorium at Montreat.

For those who don't drink that particular brand of kool-aid, Bob Tuttle has a famous speech about the pews being older than your grandmother.

So we've got these paths in which we move, and we've got new ways of moving through them, whether a new student on a dirt path, or an iPad typing with the rhythm of a manual typewriter, or a church facing an uncertain future.

Stephen, my question to you, and to the rest of the internet, is not just where is God directing the traffic, but where is God already working, waiting for us to walk the old path with our new shoes?


  1. Brother Joseph, thank you for responding to my post! I look forward to a continued dialogue! A response to your response in in the works!

  2. I do like a good discussion! Glad you're enjoying it.