All this year, I’ve had mountains looking over my shoulder. On the way to school, outside the windows to my classroom, in traffic, on the runs I sometimes (rarely) take – they’re out there.
It’s a little unnerving to me as a girl from St. Louis who’s accustomed only to being smaller than traffic lights and whose only guiding natural objects are two slow moving rivers that are easy to ignore. But all this year, every morning, I’m greeted by things bigger than me that are distinctly not crafted by man. Sometimes snow covered, sometimes shrouded in fog, but there – resolute and unfailing in their magnitude, firm in their grandeur.
Just like every day I wake up and realize that I’m in the presence of something huge, every day I see through my work something bigger, too. As an ASC, I am witness to a Jesuit mission in action that is even larger than the mountains that dwarf the faraway skyscrapers of the Denver skyline. It’s a huge mission and a ginormous vision and somehow, this year, I’ve been a part of it.
Listening to a student talk about cheer auditions was a tiny piece of it, and staying late to talk a kid through their thesis statement was a step. Dancing to Jesse McCartney on the last day of class was a move (and a shimmy) in the right direction, and giving high fives when they finished finals added on a bit, too. My favorite guy Oscar Romero once said that we accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work, and I don’t have to be a math teacher to know that this year I’ve added to my fraction quite a bit.
If the mission were the mountains I’d still be an ashy fleck of gravel at the bottom of a cliff, but I’d be a part of it, contributing more than I ever have in the past. For the opportunity to do that, I am grateful.
So now, I go on. I’ll wake up this summer overlooked by street signs not summits, close to those sleepy rivers that just keep trudging along even though most people pay them no mind. I will miss the mountains, and I wish I could take them with me when I go, but I know I can’t. They’re too big, and there would be too many angry tourists to risk it. What I can do is keep the mission in mind as I go on to my next adventure. I can carry with me the passion and purpose I discovered as an ASC. I can continue adding act by act to my tiny fraction of the future, chipping in, little by little, to the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.