Quarter 1 of SBS, November 2016:
Winter has sprung here in Switzerland. The French Alps are now snow covered and create a beautiful picture every evening with the golden light at dusk. The days are much shorter and we’ve already had several snow days with more than a few snowball fights.
I love the first snow (I love snow all the time), but there is something special about the first one of the season. For me, it echoes the silence of winter. I admire the dark stillness days of winter because of the natural silence and introspective thinking it brings to everyday life. Being cozy becomes a necessity and warm tea becomes a demand, as I’m able to stop, think, and process a little more. As I reminisced on the entrance into the silent season of winter, I was thinking also of how this time in Switzerland is in sync with nature. Although I live in community with over 100 people, share a room with 5 girls, and it’s a challenge finding a space to be alone anytime of the day, I consider it a quiet season. I am away from the responsibilities of normal living at home; my presence is not required in a youth group, my work schedule is non-existent (in the 9-5 sense), and all regular relationships I am normally maintaining through hangouts and coffee dates, can’t be obtained during my time of SBS. It’s physically a loud season full of class, studying, meals, outreach, worship, and such, but in my spirit, it’s a quiet season that being away from home brings.
Coming into this School of Biblical Studies, I was concerned with how I would need to get a hold on my time management skills, or sometimes, lack there of. I thought, “I’ll have to cut out the ‘fun’ things to get more time to study and complete my assignments.” I’m learning quite the opposite, as I am two months deep into my school. Time management is crucial to the structure of this school, but I’m learning that time management, during this season, for me is actually about making time for the ‘fun’ things during the day. The moment I focus on cutting the ‘fun’ things (playing ping pong, or basketball, taking a nap, or a walk) out of my schedule, is the moment that studying the Bible (the Book of LIFE) becomes a duty and not a life-giving privilege. If I’m focusing on needing to complete my assignments, and be successful on paper, I’m turning this school (about the Bible, mind you) into a legalistic seminar. When I’m refusing myself the ability to enjoy that breath of fresh air, I’m saying that finishing is more important than enjoying my learning experience. I’m here to apply the Bible to my life and learn more of God’s character. The God I’ve known is not a dictator focused strictly on achievement, but a Father that wants to be with me, enjoying the journey, and learning together. My desire is to love the Word more by the end of my time here, not train myself to immediately feel studious whenever I pick the Word up. This community is all part of the design of SBS, the sports, the café, the forest nearby, oh and that ping pong (so refreshing); all these things are meant to be a part of my experience, a rejuvenation, not a temptation.
Madison (Washington, USA) was a student in the 2016-2017 SBS at YWAM Lausanne.
The next School of Biblical Studies is coming up starting October 2, 2017. Read more about SBS and apply on our website: http://www.ywamlausanne.com/school-biblical-studies/
Want to find out more about YWAM, SBS, and/or missions?