See Ya Later
I hate goodbyes. I don't like hugs, or tears, or watching someone leave. I despise packing up my belongings once again and closing the door on yet another place I've called home. It's a strange feeling; knowing that I have another landing point, another home base, another piece of the family of God to return to. Gratefulness overcomes me. All the fear and doubt coming into the summer were destroyed little by little, replaced with truth about God and the depth of the power of the cross. Reminders of the power of God's Word were woven into each day and culminate in my head, forming a picture of this summer.
Never have I experienced a place where a missional mindset is so consistently displayed within the world of sport. Daily, there is discussion and integration of biblical principles and truth into whatever project or task is at hand. For 9 full weeks, I experienced the change that occurs in one's life when intentional community, vulnerability, and radical candor are present in the people you are surrounded with and challenged by. This change is not temporary. Or at least, it is not meant to be. The impact of these nine weeks at Athletes in Action is meant to last a lifetime, to travel with you to your home, school, church, career, teammates, classmates, family, and friends. The depth of community is designed to follow you and grow to include more and more members of the family of God. To expand because the love you have for Christ is unquenchable and undeniable. With the great commission as your foundation, radical candor should drive you to excellence in your workplace, your school, your relationships with people. Worship for the Lord should be the reason you commit your days to serving God, surrendering yourself, and loving people. God put us here this summer to experience challenges in a place where failing is okay. Grace is given freely. Pasts do not define us. Hardships turn into highlights. Vulnerability is not an option. The relationships formed are not developed based on finnicky moods, easy conversations, or mediocre attempts at loving others. Intentionality is not a far-off concept, but is present in the midst of everyday life.
While writing notes to people once I was home, I realized something: this summer, athletic training finally started to make sense. Really, it didn't ever have to be athletic training; it could have been anything. But through the consistent discussion of worship, persistent challenging from peers, and continual opportunities to apply both professional and missional skills, I guess something 'clicked.' I have an understanding, albeit small, of why I am in the major I am, how I can use it to make a difference for people, how my work really is worship.
We are here for more than a job- we are created to serve, to love, to share Jesus with the world. And the world begins with the people in front of you. One person at a time, with one conversation after another, one opportunity to serve followed by another. Intentionally loving people without an agenda. Whatever career or job you have is just the platform by which to do it.
This summer. Wow. There are so many moments I hold dear in my heart. Friendships I didn't know I'd find. Wisdom from mentors I wasn't sure I would meet. Opportunities to grow that were so beneficial. And not just one, but two "teams" of people who brightened my day with their character and personalities. All of these made it hard to say goodbye.
My dad once told me, "It's not goodbye, it's see ya later." So for now, it's 'see ya later' to the interns, staff, supervisors, and team, because I'll see you when I see you; sooner or later. But for the record, I hope it's sooner. :)