Mom and Dad had given their lives to Christ. My older brother was working in the steel mills in the Calumet region. My younger brother was struggling to find himself, and looking in all of the wrong places. And then there was me. In some ways I was viewed as the shining star.
After high school I worked the summer for an engineering company. Sounds impressive, but I was doing some simple soils and concrete testing for just above minimum wage. I wanted to go to college, but didn't have the money. My dad finally convinced me to apply for an apprenticeship with his company. He said that even if I decided to go to college later, I would at least be making some good money in the meantime and could save up some for college if I chose.
Dad's workplace was a small union repair shop that did a lot of business with the steel mills. The money was good, but working in the adult workplace was a big shock for me. For some reason, I expected adults to act like adults. WRONG! There was such a bizarre mix of personalities among the 5 other mechanics and boss. I could write a book just about them. But I did enjoy the work. I was good with my hands, and my dad was an excellant mentor.
However, after about a year I decided to pursue college. Bible college. And even though mom and dad had become Christians and said they supported me, I don't think it was their first choice for me. After all they had sacrificed to come here and give their children a better life, I was choosing a career that might give me less. At least in the material realm. I did admit to my mom years later that part of my decision was that I felt dad took a lot of extra abuse at work because I was there. She made me promise not to ever tell him that.
I am still not sure why I decided to go to a Bible College. My intention was to just go for a year. I felt that there was something that I was missing, and I thought that this was the answer. Looking back, I see that I was wrong again. Not that it was all a bad thing. But attending classes and hearing theories does not make one a better Christian. I was getting an education, but I was not being discipled.
Next: The Bible College Years (You read it right, I ended up staying more than 1 year.)