Professional Student and Some Riff Raff

For those of you who don’t know me (or my family), my second daughter started her Freshman year at a university this year.  Our youngest is now a fifth grader.  The years of “Meet the Teacher” nights are coming to an end.  And I can’t say I’m not happy about the latter.  But I realize I’m now considered “middle-aged.”

Reviewing the first forty-four years of life is humbling.  I quickly move through the teenage and early twenties years (I made tons of mistakes).  But I try to live without regrets.  In other words, even in the mistakes I’ve tried to learn – learn about life, about people, about myself.  I can’t take those years back.  But what I can do is acknowledge what I learned and never forget.

I mentioned my daughter going to school.  It seems like I’ve been in school forever.  But in all actuality, I was simply late to the party.  I joined the military out of high school, worked for two radio stations after discharge, and then enjoyed a short career in law enforcement.  It wasn’t until I was twenty-nine that my wife and I took two girls and moved to Dallas to go to school.  The goal was to preach and teach.  It was something I felt I was “called to do.”  Sitting in a class of nineteen and twenty year olds meant I was definitely the “old man.”  In fact, for some of them, I was the dorm “parent.”

After receiving a Bachelor’s degree, I began doing what God called me to do – preach and teach.  I also took graduate classes hoping that one day God would allow me to teach the Bible in a university setting.  I will receive a Master’s of Art in Christian Studies with an emphasis in theology in December.  Please understand.  I’m not blowing a horn here.  I’m realizing that although I’ve had several opportunities to hang a piece of paper on the wall, God isn’t done with me yet.  I feel called to continue my education even further.

Anticipation and even fear creep into my head as I fill out an application for a Master’s of Divinity program.  Most in the program will be about half of my age.  But I’ve never done anything the easy way.  It seems I’m following form.

Here’s the point:  What’s wrong with being a professional student?  I realize there’s something wrong with going to school, paying out thousands of dollars, and struggling with lack of sleep with no clear-cut plan.  But there was no way I could have made it through college at eighteen.  I was the definition of immature.  The life experiences I’ve had have provided me with opportunities to learn – learn about life, about people, about myself.  It’s those opportunities I consider as blessings.  That’s something a twenty year old can’t offer to society.  Sure, they might be mature.  But the life experience is priceless!

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.

Proverbs 19:21 (ESV)

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit” – yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring.  What is your life?  For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.  Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”

James 4:13-15 (ESV)

I’ve applied believing God’s will for me is to continue my education.  I don’t know what tomorrow holds.  There will be tremendous challenges.  But I know who holds tomorrow.  And I know He is faithful.

For His glory alone!


8 Responses to “Professional Student and Some Riff Raff”

  1. Mike, Wow! Congrats! I highly recommend it M.Div. degree it’s eye-opening and wonderful! Think your kids are older you will probably finish before I’m done to! Lol! I will be praying for you and your family during this road ahead And I know He will be faithful! Blessings & Tender Prayers, Lois

  2. Sharon Graf Says:

    Congratulations!! You might as well be in classes as I am finding out we are never done learning. I will always be a student of the Bible. There is so much to learn about our God!!

  3. There is so much in life to learn – we would need 100 lifetimes at LEAST, to begin to truly learn all the facets of existence – there is so much to study, to know and learn and live – a life of 100 years is not near enough. And I totally needed those 30+ years behind me to even begin to be mature enough to appreciate the learning.

    Press on with your endeavors as God gives you the days, the strength, and the ability! I heard a preacher say once: “We are here to do what the mountains do poorly! We are here to give Him Glory!” What a blessing to teach. What a beautiful way to display the superiority of a life lived in God!

    Love ya!

  4. Amen, brother! Good for you. I really like the point with reference to learning from the past. And blessings on your continued education!

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