OLDS Interviews: Shelby Blair
The 2016 application for the fall OLD School semester is opening soon, and we interviewed the students from last semester to get their take on how the semester went. Today we interviewed Shelby:
Why did you decide to do OLD School?
“The reason why I did OLD School was because I knew that it would be a good growing opportunity for me. When I visited SWO for the first time, I met a lot of awesome guys who were currently in the program. They were just super in love with The Lord and they challenged me to do it. I like being outdoors, and I love Jesus, so combining those two in one situation where everyone is working toward the same goal was something I wanted to do.”
What is the biggest thing you’ve learned this semester?
“One of the biggest things I’ve learned is that I have to have a good equilibrium between the way I spend my own time with God and the way we worship God as a group. I can’t just do one and not the other or there will be an imbalance in my relationship with the Lord. Having to fight to spend that alone time with Jesus is something I’ve really grown in and will apply once I return home.”
What would you say to someone who is considering OLD School?
“I would say pray about it. It’s not something that’s easy or for the faint of heart, but it’s definitely fruitful. If The Lord puts it on your heart and it’s been there for a while, seek counsel and pursue it. It’s hardcore discipleship and hardcore wilderness experience as well. OLD School has been the best few months of my life. I would recommend it to anyone, but don’t sell yourself short. Go for it. Pray about it.”
What is your favorite memory?
“There was this super tiny crawl space while caving, and I didn’t really want to go through it because I don’t like small spaces. Everyone wanted me to go down to experience it, but Elijah volunteered to go down first to guide me through it so I didn’t get stuck. We only knew each other for a few months, but he was willing to go before me to ease my mind. It really showed the bonds people can have from being embedded in a Christian atmosphere, but also in an atmosphere such as a cave.”
What is your favorite section?
“Being in Honduras has been my favorite section. Being in a different culture that I knew nothing about prior and seeing all these kids with their desire to be around me and their desire to know God has been very cool. I’ve enjoyed that the most.”
How will OLD School help you in the future?
“I’ve been doing a study of Mark and it says that it’s the things within which defile a person. When I came to OLD School, I don’t think I had good problem-solving skills and I didn’t have good reactions to people when they did something I didn’t like. This has taught me to be more selfless—to give things I would consider hardships up to The Lord so that He can grow me and transform my heart so that I can love people better. The reality of seeing that played out has been very fruitful for me. The wilderness skills will definitely help me in the future, but also the teaching has helped me. Getting in front of people and talking about what Scripture says about Jesus as a leader has been awesome because I want to do those types of things for a long time. It has helped me realize that passion.”