I’ll admit it. I enjoy professional and college sports, but I have never been anything close to a die-hard fan. I have definitely even been accused of being a “band-wagon” or “fair-weather” fan a time or two. In the past, I have enjoyed going to games or watching them on TV with friends in social settings, but I was not heartbroken when the Rams were ripped away from my hometown of St. Louis, and I did not really care when a public funding option to bring Major League Soccer to STL was defeated at the polls. For the majority of my students, however, sports are a major lens through which they process, grow in, and interact with their world. Quite surprisingly to me, sports have also become an extremely important part of my life as I have dived into my Alum Service Corps experience at Rockhurst High School (Kansas City, MO) this year.
As ASC members, we are called to be open and to say yes in whatever way we might be needed in serving our school communities. We are called to build and cultivate relationships, we are called to have fun and bring our real “selves” into all that we do, and we are encouraged to try things that we wouldn’t do in a “normal” year of our lives. So far, my year has been full of surprises. I had not planned on teaching sophomores or being a pastoral minister. I had not planned on helping moderate the yearbook or assisting in the school’s archives. I had not planned on truly loving living in Kansas City, and I certainly had not planned on becoming a sports fan. And yet all of these things have happily become part of my new reality, and I find myself so thankful for my current place in life.
Each week, I find God’s love in attending games with my students and cheering on our Hawklets. The excitement and drive they bring to all of their pursuits is contagious and never fails to put a smile on my face. I find joy in the time I get to spend with my ASC roommates attending a Royals or Sporting KC game or watching college football in one of our favorite local watering holes on Saturday afternoons (even if Mizzou is having a terrible season). I find great consolation in hearing about and celebrating all of my students’ co-curricular and personal successes on a Monday morning when we come back together after a weekend away from school. And yes, I even find joy in being heckled by my students after the school’s newspaper published a picture of the Rockhurst ASCs wearing St. Louis Cardinals gear.
Through this experience, I am constantly reminded that God is love and God can be found in all things if I’m open to the joy He wishes to bring to my life. I have begun to settle into my year at the Rock quite comfortably, and I am loving every moment of it. I enjoy my time in the classroom, and I love getting to truly know the awesome young men I am privileged to serve this year. I am certainly here to teach them, but in turn, they are greatly teaching and changing me. I am so blessed because of it.
Go Hawklets! – AMDG