Having been proclaimed the assistant soccer coach by our athletic director twenty-two days ago, and having actually accepted the position twenty-one days ago, I cannot help but wonder if this appointment is not one that has been guided by the hand of Providence.
Now, you might think this odd, but the more I ponder it, the more convinced I am that God has willed my being the assistant soccer coach not for the good of the players, but for my good. What do I mean?
Being with the soccer players for nearly two hours every weekday has brought me great joy, though you might not always be able to tell as I bake under the sun in the heat that is so excessive that I cannot even put the seeds I am trying to grow that I brought back from Hawaii outside.
The soccer team is comprised of many very enjoyable young men who are very fun-loving and easy going. Though I know this isn’t the case, they seem to have no care in the world save winning their games (or getting out of practice). They remind me very much of what I was like in high school and the many fun and goofy times my friends and I had (I’ll be seeing one of my high school friends on Monday to finalize the preparations for her October wedding).
Two weeks after I accepted the position – and one week ago today – I received the devastating news that my home was being destroyed.
In the past week I have noticed my thoughts focusing on three primary areas: the classes I teach (both in the high school and in the parish), the homilies I preach, and what has happened to my home.
Quite naturally, whenever I think about the happenings in Quincy I grow disheartened and grief sets in. And then I head off for soccer practice or a game and my feelings and emotions are elevated. It is almost as though God has asked me to be the assistant soccer coach to keep my thoughts from revolving entirely on my home church.
As my previous post indicates, this does not mean that the pain is removed, but it is alleviated.
The hand of Divine Providence has given me joy to balance my affliction, and for this I am grateful.