29 September 2008

Should I Flip a Coin?

How do you make big decisions? Flip a coin? Draw a straw? "My mother told me to pick the very best?" Should decisions come easy? If I had the answer I would not sit here confused and blogging and you would have to watch TV or read a real piece of writing instead of my dilemma. 

I graduated last May from Johnson Bible College with a BA in Youth Ministry and Preaching. I decided my senior year of school switch from a BS to a BA. In doing so I effectively signed four semesters of my life over to biblical Greek. Tough. I loved Greek. My favorite class. The class opened my eyes up to the world of biblical scholarship, a world of intriguing discussions and harsh, but good-natured criticism. At the end of my five year journey through college I had my diploma in hand, a part-time job as Youth Minister in a neighboring town, and hopes of graduate school after my wife finished her year of graduate work. 

In scientific research and experiment the researcher must control and implement variables. I feel I have found a variable in my life since graduation. I graduated in May, but I'm not sure what decision I will come to. Since the mission trip with the youth group I have grown much closer, and c0-directing VBS helped me learn more about the congregation. VBS also let them in on the fact that I have not matured since the 7th grade. My wife and I have become fast friends with this congregation and their children.

As September turns to October I realize that I have worked at the church for over a year. Does not seem like that much time has passed. This summer for the church brought new life to the congregation and has drawn me further into that life. Therein lies my dilemma. I have hopes of Master's degree and even a PhD, but I also hope to enjoy ministry before I consider teaching at a collegiate level. Knowing this, how do I choose? Hopes of more education and hopes of ministry. The Emmanuel School of Religion will provide me an incredible opportunity for a first-rate and affordable education within a two hour drive of Knoxville. At the same time the ministry at the church has picked up momentum and I am building a rapport with the students. The children at the church make every time I teach an awesome and fun experience.

How do I choose? How do I decide between working toward my future career and the career I'm building in the present?

I'm doing my best to stay objective, but some friends from K-town are too dear to me to not enter into my decision. I know that one day I will look back on this and see God's timing, but for now, I feel like I'm in the dark.

How do I make this decision? 


Randy Small said...

if you leave I will hunt you down and drag you back. no pressure - I'm just saying...

but seriously, coming from a fellow academician I can feel your pain and know that it's a terribly difficult decision. the good thing is, there's no bad decision - either opportunity would be awesome for you. but we seriously love you here.

SmallWorld at Home said...

Emmanuel sucks and it's in a really ugly part of the state. I hear the professors there are really annoying. I'm sure you'd hate it.

OK, not really. You would no doubt love everything about it. But I WILL say that I went to graduate school in my late 20s and I think that worked better for me. I was out of the college-student mode, had worked several years in my field, and was more diligent, and--dare I say--wise?

Anyway, we will shrivel up if you leave. No pressure, of course.

Hilah said...

You know I know how you feel...http://hilahsramblings.blogspot.com/2008/09/decisions-decisions.html.

You know I would be ecstatic to have y'all stay here. But you have to do what you need to do. I don't know what the right decision is. There are good things on either one. And honestly, I'm not sure there is a right one. I think God will accomplish whatever he wants to in your life regardless of what decision you make. He can work in any circumstances. I say go with your heart and trust him to do his work.

partyoffivetn said...

let me just say...good friends, full size finished basement, with a big screen t.v. and that star wars game...you really need to think about this? Or is it that I stole your wife for the weekend and you want to take her away from me? We are having a great time, by the way.
and,really, you can't leave us...what would we do on Sunday afternoons?

Anonymous said...

if you go you'll know.
if you never go, you'll never know.

Sara said...

I think that you should take every opportunity to create choices for yourself. If you further your education, you can do a myriad of things that you can't do right now...and, if you love what you are doing, you can always still do it. However, if you don't get more education, you won't have the choice. Where the school is in close proximity to where you are already, you can get it done and then be able to move wherever you need to be.
It does stink, though, to move away from a wonderful community of friends and family. This is just my opinion. We'll love you no matter what you decide.

Sam said...

thanks everybody. even you anonymous person!