I keep waiting, hoping I'm going to actually *feel* like writing this post, but so far the desire hasn't shown up. So I'm just going to go ahead and do it.

Part of the reason I don't feel like writing this post is that I'm tired of trying to explain my life to everyone. I don't mean that in any rude sort of way, only that telling the same story, or attempting to, gets both exhausting and redundant. Perhaps the worst part is feeling like I have to somehow defend my actions, as if my choices need to be tried in a court and voted on by a jury of my peers.

This past semester was officially my last semester of Bible College (or, I should say, it's been postponed indefinitely). It's been somewhat of a rollercoaster ride, so I can understand to some degree why my friends would be skeptical of my decision to leave at this point. Nevertheless, I made my decision, after a lot of praying, thinking, talking with people I respect, and trying to figure myself out.

In January of 2004, I had gone back to college after Christmas break hoping to do my second semester, only to find out a couple weeks in that my student loan didn't go through. So, being penny/dollar-less, I had to take some time off. I think a lot of people were under the impression that I had chose to leave, but, unfortunately, I had made no such decision -- no money, no staying. Up to that point, I just wanted to get it done. I had a plan, a timeline, and had every intention to get through it. But it's obvious to me now, looking back, that God has had a lot of other ideas for me.

So, with that door temporarily closed, I applied for and got a job up in Fort Nelson, BC, working on the First Nation Reserve with the youth and recreation departments, working with both my former youth pastor and one of my best friends (who were basically my "in"). I had expected that I would work until the end of August and then go back to school in the fall. Well, things didn't work out (for quite a few reasons), and I ended up staying in Fort Nelson until the end of December (2004), missing another semester, putting me back an entire year and forcing me to throw my "timeline" right out the window.

By then, though, I was desperate to get back to school. Not because I didn't like my job, because I did; I think I more or less just felt like I needed to be back in school, like I was afraid that if I didn't I would basically wake up in the morning 80 years old and on my death bed and realize I had done nothing with my life. A wee bit overdramatic, I know.

So anyway, I sold my car to pay for my move and took off back to Abbotsford in January of 2005. I ended up only being able to go part-time (which meant that my timeline was really garbage). I took a few courses, but really wasn't sure why I was doing it anymore. Actually, to be more accurate, I started to see the reasons I originally had for being there in a new light, and realized that they weren't good enough. They weren't the right reasons, and they weren't strong enough reasons to get me through not only school but life-after-school as well. I can't say it was some sort of instant realization, and to be honest, it hasn't been until just recently that I've seriously started to work through them. Hence why I'm writing this now and not 8 months ago.

So you'd wonder why I even went back this last semester, if I knew I wasn't happy doing it. Well, you'd be asking the same question I've been asking myself the last 4 months. It was a lot of soul searching, a lot of intense introspection, a lot of being brutally honest with myself, and a lot of God, before I could come to any sort of conclusion about my motives.

One of my problems when it comes to school has been the idea of being a "quitter". I fear to no end the idea of being someone who gives up or throws in the towel or leaves a project unfinished. It's almost an obsession at times. And when it came to doing Bible College, I think it was just that: an obsessive need to finish what I'd started. And while it may sound like a noble idea to leave nothing undone (at least I thought so), I have come to realize (very slowly, mind you, and perhaps not even fully yet) that there are things more important than the abstract virtue of being a "finisher". I think at least three virtues (well, virtues as defined in the Dictionary of Kyle) I would rate on a higher scale are, 1) being a mortal who knows he is a mortal (that is, that I am a finite being who only has a limited amount of time to work with, so make the most of it), 2) being a man who accepts change and leaves room for it in his life, and 3) being a risk-taker (that is, having the courage to step into the unknown and uncertain).

I've been waiting a long time for God to make my choices for me, to give me a sign of what I should be doing, to somehow hit me with His proverbial lightning bolt. Yet for some reason, I remember that part in the movie Bruce Almighty, where 'Bruce' is driving down the road, begging God to give him a 'sign' -- and yet he drives by sign after sign that say things like, "Turn Back Now" "Danger!" "Stop". I think I've been doing that for a long time -- driving by sign after sign, while begging God to give me one. Strange, isn't it?

I think part of staying at Bible College has also been my fear of other peoples' opinions. Afterall, if people think I quit the first time I had to leave, they'll think even worse of me the second time, right? And the funny thing is, after I told a few people I wasn't going back, they did react that way. One guy said, "So you're giving up again?!" Yeah, thanks for understanding, man. But it's like I'm afraid people will suddenly look at me and think, "Geez, this guy is a mess. Get a grip, pal." Part of that fear comes from knowing I've thought the same way about people who have experienced similar situations. How the tables have turned, huh?

The more I thought about that problem of mine, of worrying about what others will think about my choices, the more I realized how ridiculous it is. The fact that it's ever been such a problem for me makes me angry. I mean, what in the world good could come from basing life decisions on what others will think of me? I'll end up living their lives for them, and die having missed out on my own. What a pointless and empty existence that would be.

I've looked back on the last couple years and seen some amazing things that have happened to me, seen ways in which God has forced me to grow, seen times where God has used me in my weakness and willingness to help other weak people. And through those things I've come to not only begin to embrace who I am, but accept and celebrate the fact that I have to live my life right now, not at some unspecified moment in the future.

Next year (fall 2006) I am hoping/planning to go to a school in Ontario. I discovered (through the help of a certain beautiful girl I happen to love) a one-year program called "Media Foundations" that offers intro courses to a few different types of media, such as journalism, film, design, photography, etc. Finding that was like an answer to prayer. It's a scary thought for me, mostly because I've never actually acted on my interests (such as writing and film). The thought of going to school to do something I enjoy sounds both revolutionary and ridiculously obvious. Don't get me wrong: it wasn't that I didn't enjoy Bible College -- I loved learning a lot of what I did, and I have no doubt in my mind that God is going to use it in my life; I'd even go so far as to say there is always a possibility that God might ask me to go back and finish my degree later. Who knows? But right now, at this season in my life, I know that I have to go, I have to do something else. Becoming a pastor just isn't where I feel like my life is meant to go, at least not full-time, or at least not at this point. I really think God wants to and can use me in other ways. And I feel excited about it. I feel excited about doing something my heart loves to do, I feel excited about doing something new and different, and I feel excited about waking up in the morning being excited!

It's funny, you know -- Over the last little while, especially around the time I really began to consider doing something else, I began to wonder if I wasn't almost acting like Jonah. I mean, it wasn't that I felt like I was running away from God by leaving/considering leaving Bible College, but actually like I'd been running away from God by going to Bible College -- like He was calling me to go somewhere else, to my own mini Nineveh, but I was hiding out at Bible College. You'd wonder why anyone would ever consider Bible College as a place to hide out from God, but I think for me, Bible College was an easy option. It was familiar. It wasn't new territory for me. It was relatively low risk. But I sure as heck don't want to get swallowed by a giant fish. So I'm taking a risk, in faith, and seeing what happens.

One of the biggest encouragements during all this is that the people who are closest to me have been really supportive of me. During the whole process of me talking things through and trying to make a decision, no one has pushed me one way or the other, but encouraged me to go with my heart, to step out and take risks, whatever that might look like. I think that made my choices that much easier to make, knowing that I have people who love me and will support me, regardless what happens. I think when that weight was lifted off my shoulders I felt a lot more free to consider my options more carefully and with a lot less apprehension. And it got me excited--excited to be able to pursue something I could very easily fall in love with doing. I can honestly say that at this point in my life I am feeling more energized and optimistic about the future than I have probably ever felt. I feel like I'm stepping out onto an old, rickety, unsturdy bridge covered in thick fog--and yet I feel like my excitement for the adventure to begin outweighs my fear of the unknown. That says something huge to me.

I love the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote I posted up here not to long ago, because I think it's helped me reconsider how I see a lot things about my life. I leave it once more for your consideration.

Don't be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Epilogue: "Holy Insanely Long Post, Batman!"

Q: What do you get when you combine Christmas lights, music, and a homeowner with too much time on their hands?

A: Dancing Christmas Lights.

Today was a day of much learning.

Our last Psychology class of the semester was this morning. We had to do some debates. Early in the year we were divided into groups and given specific topics to work with. The topic I was assigned to was "Genetic Testing Should Not Be Performed on Unborn Babies".

"Ok. Great. Not too hard. I can work with that," I thought. My team was assigned the "Against" position.
"Got it. Against. Sounds good to me."

To show that we were [at least somewhat] prepared ahead of time, we had to hand in a short paper about our research a week ago. I did it, I got it done. Handed in. Swell.

Of course, there was a lot of information to process and being as it was only a short debate, I wanted to make sure I had a strong argument. So I stayed up the entire night last night getting my information together. By 6:30am I was ready to go. I was excited -- I knew I was going to destroy the other team. In fact, after hearing my speech, the entire class would break down and weep, hailing me saviour and defender of the unborn and expert on all things Genetic. Or at the very least offer me a standing ovation, along with a dozen roses and a foot washing.

Just before class began, around 7:50am, my teammate decided to go and talk with the other team we were debating. Though I was out of earshot, I understood that the conversation touched on such topics as how much time was spent preparing for the debate, the general interest in the subject, the current state of world economics, and, finally, being glad that *our* team was on the 'against' side. To which the other team replied, "Well, you do realize you're debating against *the statement*, not against Genetic testing, right?"

Uh. Ahem. Excuse me?!

Let's recap: the statement, as assigned to us, was "Genetic testing should not be performed on unborn babies." And we're against that? Meaning, we're working with double negatives here? So really, my team is supposed to be in favour of genetic testing on unborn babies? Uh oh.

If I remember correctly, the sky opened up above me and God looked down, and, in an almost taunting voice, bellowed, "Ha-ha--Suckaaaa!"

Turns out all of us had been planning, and were ready, to argue the exact same thing. Not too good for an effective and interesting debate...

We went to talk to the teacher, who had a bit of a laugh about it, and admitted that the statement/wording was confusing (note: I personally supervised him as he edited his syllabus, in an effort to protect future classes from doing the same thing). He gave us some time to work on it and see if we could come up with a good "pro-Genetic testing" argument, and then we would debate at the very end of class.

Needless to say, it was pretty sad. We lost the debate (I know, I know--even I was surprised). Of course, the teacher did say he would go easy on marking us, all things considered, which is something of a relief. But geez. I was so prepared--I don't think I ever felt so ready to argue as I did at 6:30-7:50am today. I mean, while walking to school this morning, I had argued myself into submission. That's not an easy thing to do.

So, at the end of the day, as I sit with my pipe and reflect over an open fire on the days events, I come to conclude that there were two life lessons at work in the cosmos this December 9, 2005:

1. Always be willing to go with the flow.
That is not to say do what everyone else is doing; rather, be prepared to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done. If your dogs does his business on a busy sidewalk, pick it up and throw it away. Be spontaneous.

2. Don't take things too seriously.
Dogs crap on sidewalks. It's part of the pet package. Get used to it. Life isn't all pretty flowers and cute kittens and happy meals. Make the most out of the depressing, not-so-amazing things. Be creative. When life gives you a bag of lemons, throw them at people. It's funny.

There is so much to do lately, being the last week of the semester (and therefore ridiculous papers and exams to write), I have had no time to sit and write anything that I would like to write. So once again I leave you a quote.
Don't be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

And to make myself feel better about quoting, I quote:
By necessity, by proclivity, and by delight, we all quote.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

This is amazing.
Let's face it. There's a lot of movies out there and very little time to watch them in. Well sit back and relax, because your troubles are solved! We here at Movie-A-Minute have come up with a solution. We've taken several classic and contemporary movies and extracted the important stuff, cutting out all the filler. (You'd be surprised how much filler there is sometimes.) With our ultra-condensed versions of your favorite films, you can experience whole movies in just one minute! As an added bonus, Movie-A-Minute protects against torture by bad movies -- if you don't have to sit through them, well, you don't have to sit through them.


Some mornings it just doesn't seem worth it to gnaw through the leather straps.
(Mitchell Rothberg)

Fly Guy

We've all wanted to fly. It's a scientific fact*. Well, now we can.

Leave the kites at home, children, because today you can become the Fly Guy. Step into excitement, my friends.

*There is absolutely no evidence to support this idea. No studies have been done, nor have any scientists made such a ridiculous claim. The author uses the term 'scientific' in a very loose, generalized, and all-around hypothetical sort of way, in a vain attempt to make his statement sound more credible. We apologize for any shock or wild disbelief this may have caused.

the sounds of music

the reading rainbow

  • A Generous Orthodoxy
    Brian McLaren
  • Brave New World
    Aldous Huxley
  • Catcher In the Rye
    J.D. Salinger
  • Smoke & Mirrors
    Neil Gaiman

motion pictures

people i spy on

internet tourism

recent gibberish

ancient history