Archive for April, 2012

“So let’s set the record straight. Faith is not the opposite of reason. The opposite of faith is unbelief. And reason is not the opposite of faith. The opposite of reason is irrationality. Do some Christians have irrational faith? Sure. Do some skeptics have unreasonable unbelief? You bet. It works both ways.” —Greg Koukl


Grace Bible College or Bicycle Mechanic School?

My time in Bolivia has been wonderful. I’ve really enjoyed spending time with my family, seeing a few old friends and, generally, just taking it easy. It really has been great. For those who don’t know, I’ve also been taking online classes through the college that I used to attend, Grace Bible College. These have been good overall, a sort of easing back into the world of academia that I’ve been absent from for about a year and a half now. I have come to believe, however, that they may have played their part in my life so far and it’s time to move on. Though I’ve loved the flexibility that they have given me and the fact that I never actually have to “go” to class, I find them to be lacking somewhat. There is an element of community and intellectual stimulation that is missing from them that you do gain through other pursuits. So I find myself now in South America wondering-“What should I do next”

 Why do you feel like you have to do something? Why not just settle down somewhere, get a laid-back job and just enjoy life? Easy peasy…


– I have had the privilege of doing that in the past. And though it is nice as a means, it isn’t very fulfilling as an end. There’s simply a nagging feeling that I should do more and that there is something that makes hard things worth the effort. Living merely for my own comfort is not worth doing. These feelings can be explained many different ways, but the fact remains that I know that right now is not the time to settle and there are things that are absolutely worth pursuing.

     So, what to pursue:
There are two things that stick out in my mind right now.

-Return to Grace Bible College

                                        or

– Bike Mechanic School

          Most people who know me well probably are thinking- “One of the options sounds perfect. The other- is he crazy?”

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Problem is, I bet there is a fair amount of disagreement over which is which...
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Grace
Going back to Grace is a definite possibility. One of the things that I very strongly desire is a greater understanding of the Bible and all sorts of related facets. And I trust the professors at Grace on those issues. When I attended the school a couple years back, my mindset was very different. Learning was one of the last things on my mind. It actually ended up being a pretty discouraging experience. I do think that things would be different this time though. With a desire to learn and understand, education takes on a very different form than if it is perceived as mere busywork, time-wasting and going through repetitive yet unnecessary motions. I know it’d be hard work and tough at times but it just might be worth it.
Possible Issues:
 -I fear I’d get a couple weeks in and be hit with the same discouragement and stuck feelings that I had my Freshman year. This combined with thoughts like, “I could be studying this from a book on my own much more effectively,” could prove to be deadly motivation-wise.
-It’s two-and-a-half to three years of schooling. In my eyes, that is a long time and a lot of money. I’d really, really like to use invest it in the best way possible. The fact that I have doubts about this scares me. How am I going to feel a year in and “bank-accountless”?



Bike Mechanic School-

       I am passionate about bikes. I love them. Working with bikes would be a dream job for me and bike mechanic school would be a way to get a solid start in the industry. There are some incredible looking schools- a few in Oregon and one in Colorado- that look great. I know that I would enjoy the studies, accommodations and focus. While I definitely foresee possible frustrations and burnout in Bible College, I don’t think I’d find that here. The studies would be much shorter and, in a certain sense, more practical than a degree in Biblical Studies.

Possible Issues: 

  – Though I would definitely continue reading and studying theology and Christianity (on my own and in a church setting)  my learning would not be nearly as rigorous as it would be if I went to Grace.  I also don’t think I’d go to Grace after this, however there is a chance I would do this after Grace.

-I wonder about the chances of losing focus on what is important through this endeavor. I love bicycles very much, but I also very much believe that when we die, our bikes stay here.

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I’ve gotten a bit frustrated over this decision. At times it seems like no matter what I choose, I will regret it at some point for some reason. The thing is though, all choices have pros and cons and I should not let the reality of that fact escape me. I am extremely blessed to have this option before me and I am sure that good could and should be the result of either choice. There may not be a right or wrong in this one. And it isn’t a simple, dualistic, two sides of a coin decision either.  If I go to Grace, I’ll still be cycling and will hope to get involved in some work with bikes and if I go to school to be a mechanic, I certainly won’t be leaving my desire to live for the ultimate purpose behind. That being said, I’ll be praying about this. I’d appreciate any of your prayer, thoughts and advice as well… Thanks!