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Seek. Serve. Grow.

The culture of Bethel is one that encourages students to try new things and to think critically.
Sarah Unruh ’12

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A book that made a difference: Tricia Lopez

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Tricia Lopez (Newton, departmental assistant for teacher education and social work)

When Dale asked me what my favorite book was, I did not hesitate for one moment. I did not have to think. It was on my bookshelf in my office. It was a book that I have read a number of times at different stages of my life. It written by Richard Bach and is called Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah—by the author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull that I am sure most of you read in high school.

I can even remember when and where this book was given to me, in passing by a co-worker in the break room of a Macy’s department store. I was younger than most of you now, and at that time I was at a fork in the road and did not know which way to turn. This book helped me on the way.

From Illusions: “The simplest questions are the most profound. Where were you born? Where is your home? Where are you going? What are you doing? Think about these once in a while, and watch your answers change.”

This book became so dear that I shared and gave copies of it to many others who seemed lost or looking for something.

From Illusions: “You are led through your lifetime by the inner learning creature, the playful spiritual being that is your real self. Don’t turn away from possible futures before you’re certain you don’t have anything to learn from them.”

This same book came back to me as a gift, again when I was floundering and lost. The note inside it says, “Tricia, when I was in rough seas, you threw me a lifesaver. Now it’s my privilege to replenish your supply. Remember—this one’s a keeper! Gratefully, Bill.”

From Illusions: “This is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts.”

I do not want to tell you the story line of this book, because it has to be experienced, and it takes on different meanings at different time in life, but I will share the opening: There was a Master come unto the earth, born in the holy land of Indiana, raised in the mystical hills east of Fort Wayne. The Master learned of this world in the public schools of Indiana, and as he grew, in his trade as a mechanic of automobiles…..

Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah, by Richard Bach (Dell Publishing: 1989)

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