Next: The Step Before the Step

 

Things do not always go as you plan. There are bumps and bends in the road that are invisible at a distance. This is life. This fact of life is true whether you are a follower of Christ, a Muslim, a Buddhist, an agnostic, or an atheist. It does not matter. The old cliche, “If you want to make God laugh, make plans” probably became cliche over time because of just how true it is.

My wife and I made plans. God laughed. 

Proverbs 16:1,9 The plans of the heart belong to man, But the answer of the tongue is from the LORD. [9] The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps. (NASB)

The dream in my heart has not changed. I want to win an international scholarship to get my Ph.D. in philosophy in England. The dream continues to gain steam. This desire has proven, like certain strands of staph infection, to be quite powerful and resilient. 

The new round of scholarships will be posted over the next 1-4 months and the start date for the recipients would be around September. So, in the meantime, my wife and I have made a decision. 

We are going to Spokane, Washington! 

Whitworth University has offered me an adjunct position teaching philosophy. Once there, I have an appointment with a professor at one of the local community colleges. It appears there is a great chance that I will be able to teach at two different schools. 

So why are we going? Several reasons.

First, the opportunity to teach at a university is significant in terms of beefing up my resume. A professor in England stated that this would be a significant boost to my application when applying for doctoral scholarships.

Second, some of our very best friends live there. Of all of the philosophers, it was probably Aristotle that understood best the value of friendship. The older I get, the more friendship means to me. What is difficult is that we are also leaving really good friends (and of course Allison’s awesome family). In every season and with every transition there will always be both joy and pain. They are siblings, inseparable on this side of the grave.

Third, we can be a part of Kerr’s church plant. It will be a very different sort of church experience. Should be interesting. We want to serve.

And fourth, BECAUSE WE CAN. I really sense that we have freedom to stay or go. It is easy when Daddy God tells you what to do. However, God, like any good parent, modifies his parenting approach depending upon your biological age in conjunction with your maturity level. He has done this with us. We have freedom to stay or go. We are going. Why not?! 

We are not afraid of missing God. This is so important. In my 11+ years of serving as a pastor, it amazed me how many people were paralyzed by the fear of missing God. I use to be one of these people. So what do I fear now? Not going for it. I am scared to death of playing it safe. God is so big, so strong, so powerful, so knowledgable, and such a perfect Daddy that we do not have to be afraid. You can jump into the dark, the fog, the clouds. You might never know what remains obscure unless you jump. Nobody is given the privilege of walking 100% by sight. Or 50%. Or 10%. Close your eyes if it helps. As C.S. Lewis wrote, “Do not dare not to dare.” 

And, though Bayou Metal has been a tremendous blessing in our lives, it does not boost my resume. Sadly, philosophers do not care whether a pipe is 6061 or 6063 alloy or if a sheet of metal is 304 or 316 stainless. Maybe if philosophers did they might have something important to say once again. I hope to change that.

My last day working at Bayou is January 15th. I will leave that Sunday with all of our possessions in a 6 x 12 U-haul trailer. Allison and Ezra will soon follow. After a decade of serving the Lord in Picayune, my time is done. Our time is done. Off to the Northwest we go and then hopefully across the Atlantic. Oh Jesus, let it truly be all for you, your name, your glory, and the advancement of your countercultural Kingdom. 

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