Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Reflections on Investment Return

I hate the axiom that hindsight is 20/20. As any chess player or similar strategist knows, it can be false as much as it is true. One change might be for the better at that point, but it could make the future worse. That's why a cardinal rule of time travelling to the past is to never cause an alteration, even if it's just being seen. However, at the same time it can be difficult to not reflect (or worse, dwell) on the past and think of all the “what if” possibilities. This can range from sticking with a hobby, language, or relationships. For me, my career and education choice is a frequent visitor of my cranium.

Many times have I considered whether Ozark was the right choice for college. Of those ponderances, I normally side with my thoughts that it may have been wrong for different reasons. (I will save my frustration on Bible colleges and other parachurch ministries for another post.) Economically, it has an absolutely horrendous return on investment. Unless you land at a church that will pay a high wage or agree to pay your debts, those $300+ credit hours will not pay for themselves elsewhere (praying for a Jubilee year doesn't seem to be working either). Spiritually, I left with more questions than I had at the start. If you've followed the past year or so, you've seen me question the views of the Romans, Constantinianism, and Hell, to name a few. Relationally, everyone always said high school friendships die but college lasts forever. Well, aside from Casey, my closest friendship is from the ninth grade. (Granted, this could also be tied to my Asperger's rather than college itself.)

However, on the other hand, if it were not for Ozark I may never have emerged from Constantinianism or just war advocacy. I may have been convinced we were to hate our enemies rather than love them as Jesus says. I may not have had the tools to do exegetical studies to promote my growth. I almost certainly would never have met Casey, and in turn Dante. (not to mention our cats!) I also would not have the good friends from College Heights and elsewhere. I may never have discovered my aptitude for longboarding or rediscovered my love of cycling. I may never have traveled out of the country or even cross-country.

As you can see, and I can assure you, the list of experiences and people I would have missed far eclipses the downfalls. Sure, I could have gone to NM Tech and been just like the Dr. Karl Mitchell who works for NASA in the JPL. Yet, as I wrote in my journal the other day something similar to what others have said, “I can try to go back and edit my past or I can start writing a better future.” This is part of why I am forcing my way slowly through Donald Miller's Storyline workbook. I hate making decisions without all the information, so attempting to write a better story is less than fun in my opinion.

But even though we know tomorrow is not a guarantee our subconscious seems to do well when a plan is in place. So I have been analyzing possible futures and making careful decisions as I move forward (thus minimizing any further need to dwell on editing my past.) As I have mentioned on several occasions I want to develop a method of feeding the hungry. More broadly, over the past few months, my heart has been aching for the plight of the poor. Unfortunately, as I posted last week, I had been working the two jobs and time was extremely limited. Ironically, on Monday, I was made a job offer that would allow for us to have a good living with just one (40 hour a week) job. Which, to top it off, is something I love to do, helping the environment through electronics recycling! Aside from getting to spend more time with family, I plan to continue writing posts, supporting representatives who care more for the quality of people's lives than the quantity in the pocketbook, and getting back on the bike for charity.

1 comment:

OzarkMom said...

Sometimes, Son, your writing is way above my head, but I eventually catch on. I can't help but remember that 4th grader who couldn't stand 4th grade because, among other reasons, the teacher taught for the writing tests that would be administered later in the school year. ☺

Am I working in my field of study from which I graduated Bible College. No, at least not earning money at it. But I wouldn't give up my four years there for anything. True, I made good friends there, and with the advent of Facebook, I've "reacquired" a lot more of the people who made IBC special for me. As far as my degree providing anything monetary for me, I was only employed using that specific degree for seven months (out of the 38 years I've been working since graduation).

God blessed us to be able to send our boys to college and them come out without student debt. In the process, it has always been our prayer that whatever you three learned, experienced, and people you met while there would be a part of your lives forever. So we don't consider it wasted at all.