A Small Sacrifice

February 7, 2009
It happened one day. It happened one day in FCA. One of the adults that supervises FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) mentioned that there would be a "feed-the-homeless" activity next Saturday. One catch: next Saturday was court-warming.

"Would this interfere with the dance?", I asked.

"Yes it will.", he replied, "but are you sure you have your priorities straight?"

"Priorities?!!", I thought, angrily. "Yeah, I have my priorities straight! I think I'm the one with the straightest priorities in the school. I'm the only one that specifically refused Christmas presents from my parents. I'm the one who donated a Christmas present from my uncle of $100 to the church. I'm the one who donated all his video games and consoles because I want to do something important with my life. I'm the one who makes the most sacrifices around here. Don't you dare even joke about priorities."

The rest of the week went by and I brooded about it more. The more I thought, the more I knew I deserved to go to court-warming. You see, I'm different than other students. I don't connect with them very often. Even when I was surrounded by people I felt truly alone. My very soul ached to truly connect with another human being. Dances like court-warming were one of the few joys I have in life. No sense why I should give it up. After all, I wanted to serve the homeless so many times before. Why was it that the one time I truly get a chance to help them is on the day of a dance. It's not fair.

On Friday in Spanish, the last hour of the day, my teacher was talking about football. He was saying that it was ridiculous to even wear jerseys of famous players these days because they bounced from team to team so often.

"I guess by that logic it's okay to wear a Pat Tillman jersey. He'll be a Cardinal for the rest of eternity.", I said, darkly.

"I know, it's very sad.", my teacher answered.

Later that night, the subject of Pat Tillman entered my head as random subjects often do. I'm not sure what lead to this thought, but I thought, "Pat Tillman... there's a guy who had his priorities straight! Hmm... Pat Tillman... priorities...". How could I even look at myself in the mirror when the homeless needed my help? How could I call what I had previously done even close to a sacrifice? Pat Tillman gave up $3.6 million to defend this country and paid the ultimate price because of it. He could have easily kept on playing football, and no one would have thought him the worse because of it. When compared with this, my "sacrifices" felt pretty slight. That's when I made the decision to skip the dance and make a difference.

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