i would argue that few moments in life are scarier (at least to an active latter-day saint) than receiving a phone call from the stake president about getting a calling. maybe it's just me. i suppose that i'm just a touch too shy. any calling is going to cause me a little bit of anxiety, especially one on the stake level. so i found myself driving to the stake offices, feeling much like a little boy called to the principle's office, not quite sure what i did wrong. why me?! i am ever so thankful that i was given probably the one calling i feel halfway qualified for: stake physical activity director. in other words, the sports guy. and the first sport that was immediately put on my calendar was basketball.
growing up in texas, i never had the opportunity to play church ball, but i had heard plenty of horror stories from the missionaries who came from utah. i was told countless tales of brutal play, dirty tactics, naughty words spoken, and ridiculous fights. i can't truthfully say i believed all the stories. this is the gospel of peace after all. the church wouldn't endorse something so contentious, right? i suppose i am thankful that i had forgotten all those stories or i might not have immediately accepted my calling.
so, in my blissful ignorance, i got to work. i quickly contacted all nine wards, reserved the gym, got a schedule made, and the season was soon underway. for the most part, it has been a good season. it definitely has had its ups and downs. i've gotten to get to know tons of new people in the stake. unfortunately the people i have come to know the best are the hotheads who i have to either pull aside and tell them to cool off, or who come up to me after a loss and complain for twenty minutes about how they were cheated out of a win. but with the exception of these three or four above mentioned superstars, it has been fun to get out and watch some basketball (though not as exciting as i wished it was - these aren't professionals i get to watch, that's for sure :) ), as well as play in an extra game or two when one team is short on players.
all ups and downs considered, i am enjoying the opportunity to serve. and while sports often bring out the worst in people, they can also bring out the best, which is why the church supports it. and how can i not be having fun when i have such an awesome cheerleader like this...