I wrote this on June 28, 2014, so chronologically it’s a little out of order, but it’s relevant…
Impatience is not a virtue.
I’m reminded of this regularly by my wife, and by God. When I want something, I want it as soon as possible. I will often try to move Heaven and Earth to get what I want. As I’m sure you can imagine, this does not always work out well for me. I try to shoe-horn a situation to fit my will. Sometimes it gets messy (see: my ex wife, and plenty of other examples).
Over the last few years or so I have been getting better about this. Not an incredible amount, but better. I’ve been learning to lean into God more, and to wait on Him. I know in my mind that if I wait on His good and perfect timing, He has something better for me. I know this in my mind. It is hard to translate head-knowledge into heart-knowledge sometimes… I’m getting better, but I’m not there yet.
The way I’ve been trying to wait on God is through prayer, wise counsel, prayer, study of the word, prompting of the Spirit, and sitting on my hands. Like I said, I’m not so great at it…
As I started going down this path of changing the course of my life, I realized three things had to happen. First, I had to lose weight. Secondly I had to get an Emergency Medical Technician certification. Thirdly we had to down-size our lives (stay tuned for that story, it’s wild).
In my city, there is the city fire department, and then a hand-full of outlying departments for the various suburbs. The city department has a fire academy that they put on. This acadmy assumes you have zero prior experience. You learn EMT skills, and you learn fire science. For any of the other departments, they require you to show up ready to work. That means going to community college at night and getting EMT and Fire certs.
Naturally, I’d love to get on with the city department to minimize how much I have to go to school at night. Their fire academy is 16 weeks, all day, every day. If I get accepted to this academy, I immediately have to walk away from my nerd-life. Believe me, that is enticing. It’s also scary.
I would also love to get on with one of the other departments. My ride-along was with another department, and they were incredible. If I go to night school and get my EMT and fire certs, then get on with another department, I have the option to keep my nerd-life as a part-time gig. The real upside to this path is that I get supplemental income.
Let’s face it, Information Technology pays about double what risking your life for others pays. It is what it is, right? This path would allow me to lessen some of that blow by keeping my current gig in some capacity. I don’t know that the company I work for would go for that, but there is *some* precedent for part-time work.
I can see either path working out, however, they are both hard paths for different reasons.
In the interest of flexibility, I started looking into EMT certification in my area. There are a couple of private businesses that have 3-week courses (which seems insane) but they are 9-5 every day. I have a day job… that’s out. There are others, but they just don’t have any courses scheduled. The most viable option is community college, at night. I was pretty frustrated before coming to that conclusion.
The community college offers an EMT certification that is one semester, and 12 credit hours. It is at night (5:30-10:30… ugh). They also have a bunch of prerequisites you have to complete before you can register for it. I asked myself “how bad do I want this?” My inner-monologue replies “bad bad.” ok then…
I tried to register for the semester that began in January. I missed the cutoff by about 2 days, and didn’t have all of the pre-requisites. I was very frustrated and felt like maybe it was a door shutting in my face. My wife was very encouraging at this time and reminded me that I don’t get to set the time-table for when my train is going to pull into the station. I just had to keep being faithful in the things that I was supposed to be doing and leave the rest to God.
I used the intervening months to get all of the prerequisites completed. They included CPR certification, several rounds of immunizations, fingerprints, urinalasys, and a bevvy of other things.
On the one hand I think it’s great they screen people out who may put others at risk. On the other hand I have to wonder if it’s not a measure of ‘weeding out’ those who aren’t willing to do the hard things for this pursuit. I am willing.
I got all of these things finished in record time, and jumped through all of the registration hoops (which cost me a couple more days and hours of back and forth with the various college departments involved), but I got registered!!! The registration offices at the community college were very helpful and impressed in how motivated I was to get the registration done. Hey, I either go hard or go home…
I have to wait a good amount of time, as my course starts in late August, and it’s currently only June.
That’s ok….. it’s not my time-table. His way is going to be perfect and exactly what I need. My spot on the train is reserved.
Besides….. I already got the book and I’ve started studying 😉
Update: As of today, I’m about half-way through my EMT course, and I’m doing very well 🙂