The following reflection is by attendee Joshua Leland
“Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for there is not a second one to help him up!”
— Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
As a teacher, it can be easy to slip into a sense of isolation and loneliness. In the rush of classes, grading, and life, I often struggle with feeling like I am a single, lone soldier, single-handedly facing down a sea of endless storms.
But this week at the Summer Institute, I was reminded that I am certainly not alone. I was continually amazed throughout the week as I met the other people who had come together to study The Aeneid. I was humbled to get to know the other school teachers and home schooling mothers (and I think teaching in a school can be lonely!) who are giving of themselves in the deepest of ways to their students and children. There were many things that fed my soul this week–rolling blue mountains during the day and late-night discussions on the back balcony at night–but it was my fellow Aeneid-lovers that nourished me the most. I was reminded that I am not alone, and that this calling to teaching is not one that I must endure by myself. It may sound strange to say that we must ‘endure,’ but those who have traveled with Aeneas on his voyage from Troy know that fulfilling one’s calling is heavy weight to bear.
Thanks be to God that we do not travel these stormy seas alone.