Thursday, September 16, 2004

manifest destiny

Before we get started, I would just like to let everyone know that Blogger and I have been fighting it out this past week regarding those fanooks who are slandering me via my old URL. In their latest response, they actually had the nerve to quote a federal communications statute.

I seem to recall that I might know a little something about federal communication law. You're in my house now, Blogger.

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A decision is going to need to be made fairly soon regarding California. Some time soon I'm going to have to sign up for the bar exam. But do I sign up for the California or Texas exam? Signing up for the exam is quite expensive, costing about a box of ziti. That means that I sign up for one, and that's it. That's where I'm going/not going. So now I'll lay out the arguments for and against the prospect of this westward trek, partly to keep you informed, but mostly to organize my own thoughts on the issue.

Arguments for going to California

1. A job. There's no solid official offer on the table, but my bosses liked my work output and are going to be hiring new people and increasing their office space over the next few months. Also, in my correspondance with them, they're interested in my decision process on returning to California. While I was there, the exact quote was: "We should definitely have some work for you when you graduate, even if it's just what you're doing now."

Slight problem with that. I don't want to move halfway across the country for an hourly wage clerkship. I need more assurance that I'll actually have a job as an attorney, even if I start out working for peanuts or iTunes gift certificates. But the lighter side of that is that even if the old bosses can't hire me full on, then working as a clerk should give me some steady income while I hunt down something else.

This is a Bush economy. And a job prospect isn't something your shrug off.

And I have zero job prosepcts in Texas. The alligator eats the bigger number.

2. Place to live. Thad's offered to put me up for the first few months. Rent free. In southern California. That's mind-boggling. Also, I love Thad and this family, and living with them would be a joy.

3. Ministry. I definitely have a place at PierPoint (the church where I worked this summer). I think the opportunity is there to teach a Sunday morning class, or lead a discipleship group. 9:30 has trained me well.

Arugments for not going to California, or conversely, staying in Texas

1. Family. I'm an only child and I'm really close to both of my parents. Going that far away would be very hard for them, and I hate the idea of hurting them. The other side of this is, even if I stayed in Texas, it's probably 2 to 1 that I wouldn't stay in Lubbock. So either way, life's probably gonna be rough for Martha and Big Jer.

2. The bar exam. California has the hardest bar exam in the country. And I didn't go to school there. I would either have to take the thing kamikaze in July, or wait until the next February, which would involve the risk of forgetting what little I know already. Bar exams don't test much on telecom law. On the flip side, Cali may have the hardest bar, but Texas has the second-hardest bar, so I'm in for a fight regardless of which state I choose. My chances only go down 4%.

3. Texas. I love Texas.

4. 9:30. I love 9:30.

I've spent a lot of time in prayer about this. In light of this, I'm leaning towards California because no matter how much I submit to going wherever God wants me, the desire to be in California remains. All of the things in the against category trouble me, but none of them cause my desire to wane.

Harold Bullock says that in the absence of a clear, discernable word from God, we should look to 3 factors to discern his will: 1) Scripture. I don't see the Word having any problem with leaving to go into a mission field, or taking things like jobs and bar exams on faith. It also clearly says that following God should be a priority over your family. 2) The input of Godly people. When I mentioned the idea to Strap and Bill Davis, they were excited and thought it sounded like a great idea. 3) Circumstances. I have a job, a place to live, and a place to go to church. Those are three signs that all point towards Cali.

So to answer my own question, it looks like at least for now, California is the default. Scary.