Ocean Kayaking Inspires IT Director

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Patti Fisher

Patti Fisher
MSLS in Library Science, University of Tennessee, Knoxville (1993)
MABS in Biblical Studies,
Temple Baptist Theological Seminary (1990)
BRE in Christian Education, Tennessee Temple University (1982)

Imagine sitting in a small vessel over a vast body of water, paddle in hand, ocean life mingling beneath you, the monotony of life behind you, and the horizon stretching as far as the eye can see.

This is the scene Patti Fisher, senior director of information technology at Bethel College, describes, reminiscing about a recent experience ocean kayaking in Puerto Rico.

Fisher came to Bethel with expertise in the field of information technology and a passion for biblical studies and the ministry of Christ. She previously served as director of information services (IT and library) at Toccoa Falls College, in Toccoa Falls, Ga.

As the IT director at Bethel, Fisher finds joy in her position. She is responsible for the administration of the IT department, providing vision, direction, personnel selection and budget management.

And though Fisher spends her days in front of a computer screen, during her free time she’d rather kayak on ocean waves than surf the web.

Fisher enjoyed canoeing as a young adult, occasionally taking up the challenge of canoeing competitively. On a vacation to Bermuda, she was given the opportunity to try kayaking. Already adept at water sports, she fell in love with kayaking, even more than canoeing. For Fisher, one thing set canoeing and kayaking apart: the ocean.

“There is something about the ocean that draws me to the Lord,” says Fisher.

She explains that when kayaking, the direction of her boat drifts according to the way she pushes her paddle. If she focuses her energy in paddling only on the left side of her kayak, the boat will drift to the right. In order to be a successful ocean kayaker, and move forward, one must master the essential skill of balance.

“It’s similar to how we maneuver through life,” says Fisher. “In order to move forward you must stay balanced, place your energy where you want to go, and look out ahead of you.”

Fisher is emphatic about her love for her work on campus. However, like most, she is tempted to compartmentalize life. She tries to resist the human impulse to focus on the now and chooses instead to focus on things eternal.

Ocean Kayaking may seem far removed from directing a team of specialists in informational technology, but Fisher finds a way to let it inspire her. Encouraged by how small and finite her life seems in comparison to the vastness of the horizon, Fisher is reminded of the infinite nature of God.

“Don’t take life for granted,” says Fisher. “Remember to look up and look out.”

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