YWAM Montana

Well, after a few years waiting and trying to figure out if 9 months studying the Bible Inductively was a good thing to spend my time doing, I am finally here in Lakeside, Montana enrolled in Youth With A Mission’s School of Biblical Studies (SBS).

Time is an interesting thing.  I think about it a lot lately.  Why it flies sometimes and seems to drag on endlessly at others is a bit of a mystery.  Does it fly when things are easy?  When things arefamiliar?  Maybe a bit of both.  It’s been my experience that the hard times go slow.  I’ve been traveling almost non-stop since I left New Zealand in March and even that period was only a 3 month lecture phase of a Discipleship Training School.  Each new endeavor seems to follow a similar pattern.  There are stages of experience.  At first there is the anticipation of the event, place, or assignment.  Even the period before the thing can be agonizing if it drags out too  long and is totally unknown.  Then there’s the trip to the place, the beginning there,  the meet and greets, the jet lag, the schedule, the geographical layout, and the rules or lack thereof.  This YWAM base is nice.  It’s in America, which makes lots of things easy to me being an American.  To me, Montana seems close to Michigan because places like Thailand and Laos are so far away.  On the first day our teacher, Tom, was giving an introduction to Montana, how it is being in America and what the expectations are here compared with some of the countries other students are from.  I thought it was funny how he talked about walking down the road and getting out of the way of traffic.  He said, “Americans like to drive.  They like to drive fast.  And they don’t like interruptions when they’re doing it, so walk accordingly.”  Exactly.

We’ve been mainly in lectures learning what they call “the Method.”  The first few days went slow with mostly new faces and tons of names to learn, but already, the passage of time is picking up.  It’s Friday tomorrow.  One week down.  I’m tired every night

My little study area.

because there is so much studying and academic leaning going on all day.  I haven’t been in school since 1999 if I remember right, so this is a stretch.  It’s a good stretch though.  At 38, I already face the temptation of finding what I find comfortable and just sticking with that instead of taking on challenges like this.

The Method goes from general to specific and the process is a chore to learn.  They tell me it becomes second nature and, for now, I’ll just have to trust them on that.  Over the next 9 months, we’ll chart every book in the Bible by what they call segments, breaking it down over and over until we are totally focussed in on the smallest detail and application of the passages.

YWAM Montana used to be an army base.

There are 52 students in the class, which will be divided in half once we learn the Method in a couple weeks.  I hope to get into a bit of a rhythm by that point once I become more familiar with it.
The school has been running here in Lakeside for years now and they do it well.  It used to be done all on paper but now it’s almost all on computer which is the obvious progression I suppose.  Every day they pile on a bit more.  This week it’s been the single chapter book of Philemon and we’ve had the whole week to do it.  Eventually, the pace picks up to where all 66 chapters of Isaiah are completed in a single week.
On one hand, I think I know what to expect.  on the other, I have no idea.  It’s a marathon of sorts and I was given advice to start with the end in mind.  Not to wish for the end, but to factor in where I will take it from here and to take note of that application as I go through it.  This kind of thinking helps to set the right pace and to see it fitting into the big plan.  It seems right to me.  I’m grateful to be able to spend the time doing it and hope for the best.
Here’s to staying in one place for a bit…