So, about that job I never asked for? Here it is – part two. Do you want more? #5 Connection: Ephesians 2.10 something about me at the end... please read! We left off in the story of young Bret, who made a decision to be baptized because he wanted to identify with Jesus Christ – because he believed in him and wanted to follow him. Since Bret and his family did not attend church anywhere, I was the person they asked to baptize him. No problem! When did he want to be baptized? On Easter Sunday, of course, because that made the event even more significant to him.
And where did he want to be baptized? Our regulars’ beach in San Clemente, Riviera. His dad, Brian, assisted me in lowering the much-bigger-than me Bret into the waves and raising him back out again – to the cheers of his family and mine, and several high school teammates. Afterward, there was a barbecue at their home, where a dad named Mike asked, ‘Hey Christine, can you do anything about getting Fellowship of Christian Athletes started again at San Clemente High School? There used to be a group, but no longer.’ ‘Sure,’ I confidently replied. ‘I will start looking for someone immediately!’ And so I did. An FCA ‘huddle’ is usually led by a campus coach who is a Christian and serves as an advisor to a team of student leaders. I diligently reached out to the football coach, the tennis coach, a math teacher, track coach and more…the football coach agreed to do it, even though it did not seem his heart was really in it. The night before he was to start, he recused himself … what? Turns out there was some wrongdoing in the finances of the football program that pointed back to him. What now? What was I to tell the athletes (and their dads) who wanted to get FCA going? You guessed it. ‘Okay, so here’s the thing—I am going to launch FCA and then I will hand it off to someone as soon as I can find'm.’ I led the Huddle for the better part of four years. I did not ask for the job, but I knew when it was mine. You’ve heard the saying – ‘if it is to be, it is up to me.’ Well right then, it was true. In terms of serving God, it was the hardest thing I have ever done, partly because first Dylan and then Danny were in the club. (New? My boys, three years apart) It was a crazy thing – two guys, Aakash, (a football player) and Lucas, (a volleyball player), asked if they could just come and sit in the team leader meetings, where we planned and prayed, and I discipled. Why did they want to be there? They had never heard about Jesus … could I tell them more? Amazing interest. But then a year later, little Lucas, who I had known since he was eight years old and on Dylan’s soccer team, got out of his car one morning (now tall Lucas - an outside hitter on the volleyball team), and told Dylan he was sick of his mom trying to proselytize the whole high school. Dylan told him he had said one too many things about me and hit him right in the mouth. . . Oh man. Yes, it was hard. There was the biology teacher/friend who had invited us to use her classroom for lunchtime meetings, then kicked us out because her colleague said she would receive criticism from parents. I could go on. But God. But God was faithful. Student athletes were drawn to God. When they wanted deeper relationship with him, they started going to church together, including carpooling to Rock Harbor Church on Sunday nights. I alternated with every other Sunday night in a program I called Sunday Night Live—San Clemente Pres threw her doors wide open for us – I had speakers, worship bands, food of course!, and the students came—a lot of them. Some of those same students are playing professional sports today—NFL, NWSL, MLB and more. Crazy. And I still have their phone numbers. When Paul wrote from prison to those he loved so much in the town of Ephesus, after he talked about God saving us because of his great grace, he penned this beautiful verse: For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2.10, NKJV And God. When Lucas’s dad passed away of leukemia at the age of 46, I was in New York City. Karen (mom) called me and asked me to do an agnostic blessing at his memorial service. Had there have been a cartoon service nearby, there would have been a bubble over that conversation with a dog cocking his head to the side saying ‘agnostic’ blessing? What? Isn’t that a contradiction in terms? Of course, I said yes. I prayed about how I could honor God and David and the request before me, and swung by the Yoder family compound when I got back to San Clemente. The outline of the funeral folder was out on the table with the words ‘passion and purpose’ at the top. I went home and looked for a poem about those two, and would you know I was led right back to the above verse? In another translation, it says, ‘For we are his masterpiece…’ The Greek word for masterpiece? ‘Poema’. David’s life was God’s poem… And so is yours. Your life is a masterpiece, created by God for good works. Created by God for a unique purpose. Do you know your purpose? As I have sought to fulfill my God-given purpose of sharing the love of God with those he puts in front of me, I have said ‘yes’ when I did not know how; each step of the way, God showed the way, one step at a time. Flawed as I am, what an adventure! Do you want more? Discover your purpose, and then act on it. Tomorrow morning I have a brutal foot surgery . . . three different procedures on my right foot. I am told it will be a long recovery; hopefully, I will get a Morning Briefing out Sunday night, but please know understand if you do not hear from me for a few days. ;) I am praying for you - I really am. With love, Christine