Week 8

Happy Sunday! This has been a really fruitful week, as there’s been a lot happening in and outside of school. I’m thankful to have grown in faith this week and in trusting each and every obstacle to the Lord who gives me strength.

On Tuesday, we came back to school after a mask mandate was ordered for our county over the weekend. While this was a hot topic of the day with many protesters and plenty of tension among students, I saw it as an opportunity to share the light of Jesus and set up a prayer group amongst our school’s students before the day started! A small group of us gathered to pray and encourage each other at 8:00 A.M., and I was glad to see participation and enthusiasm about being a model of Christ to our school despite the evident division. As well, our marching band had a “give-back night” at Chipotle, where if you specified you were with the marching band, they would give 25% of the profit from your meal back to the band funds! Always gotta go with the solid chicken bowl, a classic option indeed.

Wednesday was a nice, easy day with little to do! After school ended, I had some time before youth group where I made muffins for my family. (Blueberry is the best muffin). As well, I got to listen to history being made: the Tampa Bay Rays set a new franchise record of wins by breaking 98 wins on Wednesday night! I listened to the radio broadcast with my rally cap on and enjoyed some evening baseball.

Thursday was a fun band rehearsal day! We wore our shakos (fancy hats) with plumes (fancy feathers) for the first time while playing our instruments, in preparation for our competition on Saturday. It always is a strange adjustment to march with a foot-tall hat and feather on your head, but it was exciting to have a taste of the full uniform again.

On Friday, about 50 members from the band went to another away game as a pep band! We won 49-3, so clearly, we did something right. The bus ride back to school was so hyped up, and I had the “honor” of DJing with my Bluetooth speaker and playing some of our favorite songs to all sing along to. 11/10, would sing again.

Saturday was competition day! We arrived at school at 8:00 A.M. for a short two-hour rehearsal before we had to get lunch and change into our uniforms. Our prelims round performance was okay, but we all hoped to perform better in the final round of the competition. After a few hours of waiting for our 8:15 P.M. performance time, we were fired up and ready to have a better run. It turns out we had a much better run, as we got 3rd place for the night (even including bands in a higher class than us) and we overtook the high school that had a better percussion score in prelims to take home the Best Percussion Award! That was a thrilling and emotional moment for me, as I’ve worked tirelessly all season to help our young group be able to compete and do well. To go up and receive the award was a surreal moment. I’m so thankful for everyone in our percussion section for working as hard as they have, and I pray for continued guidance in leading them well for the rest of the season.

If all else fails and we don’t receive any awards the rest of the year, my goal is simply to make an impact in each of their lives and exalt Christ and His character in my leadership. No moment or time of our lives goes to waste when we serve Him, and it’s an honor to serve in the spots He has put me in to lead and pray for others around me!

Earlier today I went to church and attended a worship team lunch, hosted to thank the volunteers for their efforts over the past year and a half of adjusting and serving during the COVID changes. It was wonderful to get to eat some fantastic barbeque with people I care about, as well as celebrate the service we have all shared for the past seasons of our lives! The rest of today, I plan on enjoying a chill rainy day at home and listening to some baseball. It’s the final day of the MLB season, meaning that the AL wildcard spot is still in play for 4 different teams!

I’m grateful for each open door that God has opened for me, and I continue to pray for more opportunities to serve Him! Here’s to this next week.

-Luke Wanca