August 28, 2020

Serra Club Vocations Essay

Student shares her ‘immense love’ for her faith through simple deeds

By Kamryn Swingendorf (Special to The Criterion)

Kamryn SwingendorfI’m not good at writing speeches or essays. I am good at talking about my faith, because it’s the one thing I love most deeply in this world.

But this essay put me in writer’s block. I often think not of the present, but of the future of my faith. I’ve thought a lot about how I’m going to live the call I feel God is calling me to in the future. I rarely think about how my present actions and paths are determining my future. So, why is it so hard for me to take the right steps and focus on the present?

What am I doing now to further God’s kingdom? It’s not transparently obvious to me because my life is often just a routine. A routine of going to school, smiling in the hallways, going to class, talking to my friends, doing after school activities then going home to do my homework.

To me, it seems hard to believe that I am doing anything to further his kingdom now, but honestly that’s what I strive to do. I strive to show my friends, family and acquaintances the immense love I have found in my faith and the strength it has given me.

One way I am furthering the kingdom is by doing service hours. Sure, it is required by my school. But something about doing service hours just makes me so happy. I love being able to help people who don’t have as much as me or help make someone’s day just a little brighter.

Service hours are so important to both me and my faith. I love helping people whomever they might be. It’s something our Savior has commanded that we do, and by helping people I hope that I am showing the love I feel whenever I feel God’s presence.

Another way I am furthering the kingdom now is by saying yes to what I feel God is calling to me. Although my call is in the future, I believe that saying yes now is something I’m doing now. Every day, I am working toward what my call is.

People have tried to change what I have decided to be or what I want to study. They have told me things that I don’t want to be. Through all of that, I have stayed faithful to my decision to study theology.

My faith is the one thing that I have full faith in. It’s the one thing that I know is true no matter what stands in my way. I try my best to show my faith every day. The simple actions I do every day, I feel, show God now.

If the whole world got along, if people just smiled at each other, and held the door for one another, maybe the world would be fixed. Maybe there would be no more wars and killings, no more judgement. If I can do anything little to help bridge the gap between the destruction of the world and God, I will try my best to achieve that.

(Kamryn and her parents, Matthew and Denise Swingendorf, are members of St. Barnabas Parish in Indianapolis. She completed the 11th grade at Roncalli High School this spring and is the 11th-grade division winner in the Indianapolis Serra Club’s 2020 John D. Kelley Vocations Essay Contest.)

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