Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Part 3-Quiet Vigilance

 Part 3 Quiet Vigilance

A couple of weeks later, as Presidents' Day approached,  we were all getting ready for the annual AGO/LSM Ski Trip.  Pretty much the whole fraternity, guys and gals, were going to be staying at my Big Sis's parents' home in the Central Valley while heading up to the slopes during the day.  The weekend itself was fairly eventful.  There was a lot of time to get to know more people, snowboarding to do during the day and worship/devos all together at night.

On the way home, I got to ride in Donna's car.  She was definitely somebody that I looked up to as she was a few years ahead of me.  She and her friend Megan especially really took me in and looked after me during that first year.  Donna was pretty good friends with Steve and when I climbed into the car, I noticed that he was sitting in the front seat.  "This could be interesting, " I thought to myself.  As we pulled out of the driveway, he popped in a U2 cd.  I never really listened to U2 before but something inside told me to just pay attention during the drive home.  "See what Steve's like.  See what he's interested in.  Just pay attention."  These words ran through my mind as we drove back to Cal Poly. 

All the way home, that's what I did. Halfway there, at a rest stop, he switched spots and ended up next to me in the back.  I hardly said a word to him.  I just watched and learned as much as I could about him as he conversed with everyone in the car.  He was a Junior, much older than me, and seemed out of my league as he was a favorite amongst many in both AGO and LSM.  I was a little freshman, just shy of 19, and a new girl.  But despite these minor challenges, I still wanted to quietly learn more about him.   I wanted to know if this funny, incredibly magnetic guy had any substance to him. 

For truthfully, even though I felt drawn to him for some reason, that's what I cared about the most.  Was he genuine?  Did he truly have a heart for the Lord?  Was he real?  Because if anything were to ever come of my budding feelings, he would have to be the real deal.  I wasn't about to enter into a relationship with anyone I didn't think I could marry and I wanted a man who loved God with his whole life.  That's what mattered the most to me.  Everything else was secondary and I knew it.

All of these thoughts were swirling in my head as we careened toward home.  I hadn't come to any conclusions but had only determined that time would tell.  I was determined to remain quiet about things and just watch him for awhile hoping I'd get an opportunity to get a real glimpse at his heart.  Yet, despite my cautious attitude, though I wasn't exactly sure why, one of the first things I did upon arriving home, was buy a U2 cd.  I simply thought of it as a wise investment.  A very wise one indeed.  

*             *             *             *
It was another rainy day and many of us AGO had congregated in The Avenue, which was a popular hang-out spot (technically food court) on Cal Poly's campus.  It was pretty typical to find a few AGO there at any given time, but since it was raining, it was fairly packed.  Winter Quarter finals were coming up and it was getting close to LSM Activation.  I was busy cramming for a last minute midterm when Steve walked in with an announcement.  Camp Hammer was visiting the Career Faire in the University Union (the U.U.) and he wanted to know if anyone wanted to go get an application.  Evidently, he had already worked there for a few summers and was looking for more recruits.  Little did he know I had been looking for a summer job and working at a camp was at the top of my list.  I already had an application for Hume Lake but figured I'd give Camp Hammer a shot too.  I had been a camper there as a kid and had fond memories of it.  So I expressed interest and quietly followed him up to meet the Camp Director.

Neither of us said a word on the walk up.  We were both too shy.  But when we finally made it up to the Career Faire, I smiled at the director, grabbed an application and quickly headed back to my dorm room.  For some reason, whenever I was around that Steve Dauphin I could hardly breathe.  Once safe in my room, I determined to not think about him again (at least for awhile) and just focus on getting through finals and securing a summer job.  So I filled out the application quickly and sent it off.  Who knew if I'd be there for the summer or not?  I just had to wait to and see what God had planned.

 *             *             *             *
I was stuck and I felt a bit panicked about it.  I had three finals to study for still and no way to get back to the dorms.  And not only that but I felt a bit on edge because I had ended up at Donna and Megan's house with Andy and Steve.  Donna and Megan were upstairs deep in conversation about something and they were my ride.  If only I had brought my backpack with me!  I wasn't even sure how I had ended up there but I definitely felt nervous.  The kind of nervous that crawls into the pit of your stomach and sits there churning without relief.  "Are you all right waiting for a ride Nikki?"  Andy asked.  I responded, "Uh, sure.  I guess we have to."  Andy replied, "We'll just all hangout until the girls are done talking."  Easy for him to say.  He wasn't sitting across from animated boy who made me so nervous I could hardly move sometimes.  And Andy probably wasn't that worried about his finals either-typical smart boy who never had to study.  I definitely had to apply myself to do well. 

I, however, saw the writing on the wall, knew the girls might be awhile, and decided to just change my attitude and wait.  What harm could it do?  I'd get home eventually.  I just might have to pull an all-nighter.  That's when Andy and Steve started talking.  At first it was about the presence of a trivial political sign in the AGO front yard.  But as the night went on, they delved more into deeper issues about faith, life and theology.  I was floored.  Not only was this Steve Dauphin totally brilliant (and funny) but he had an incredible heart for the Lord.  I was riveted.  I didn't know there were guys out there like him who were smart, genuine and truly loved God.  It was almost too good to be true. 

The two of them talked for hours as we all waited and it was as if I was a spectator on the scene.  I knew Andy from high school back home and respected him tremendously.  So when I saw how much he respected Steve and how they talked to each other, I knew that Steve was the real deal.  I had been asking God for a chance to get a glimpse at Steve's heart and I had just gotten one.  And unfortunately for me, it was just the thing to set me over the edge.  He truly loved the Lord.  He was wise and he was smart.  Trying to keep my heart from running away from me, I got up abruptly and went into the other room to breathe.

But deep down I knew it was hopeless now.  I knew I'd just crossed the threshold from being interested in him to liking him-a lot.  Now,  I just had to keep myself from totally falling for him without knowing what he thought about me.  I kept telling myself that I simply had to keep being logical about the whole thing.  That'd be difficult but I was determined to do it.  I'd just wait, keep watching and be his friend.  Time would tell.

However, I knew from that moment on, he was someone who not only had tremendous integrity, was smart, fun and magnetic, but he was a man who loved God with his whole heart.  I had seen little glimpses here and there over the past three months.  But that night confirmed it for sure.  I got a window into who he really was.  I mysteriously didn't care anymore that I had studying to do.  That night's encounter was what I was waiting for.  And that alone made all the difference in the world.

1 comment:

  1. Gagaga!! I love it all... I'm anxiously waiting for the next piece of the story. You are a great story-teller!