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Bro, do you even lift…HIS NAME ON HIGH!?

Dumbbell lunges? More like weighted genuflects, am I right? –AJH

I blame my dad for my sense of humor—the kind of humor only dads can provide. Yes, I blame my dad for my sense of humor, but I blame my mom for my fervent Catholicism. To be more precise, I blame my mom’s bladder for my fervent Catholicism.

A few weeks prior to my moving to Rochester, my mom and I came down to search for apartments and finish some pre-employment mumbo-jumbo. Right when we got here, my mom had to pee—badly. So we stopped at St. John’s, figuring a church would have a bathroom, right? But then “Ethan, come in and get a bulletin with me” turned into “Hi, my son is new in town, and he’s looking for a way to get involved in the Catholic community here”, which turned into “Don’t lose those ten trillion pamphlets you got!”

So, figuring I had nothing to lose, I decided to go to a young adult bonfire. Not knowing anyone, I felt pretty awkward. Happens to everyone, right? So....

...then I joined the softball team! Turns out I’m…not that good at softball…

Then I found a parish I liked! And…

I sat by myself at Mass.

So like the Little Engine That Couldn’t, I kept trying things out and kept feeling like I wasn’t getting anywhere.

But then the coolest thing happened. Two dudes invited me out for drinks after softball practice. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had cool friends before, but these guys were cool. They were genuine; they were fun; they drank beer! But the biggest thing was that they were Catholic, and they weren’t ashamed to show it.

Fast forward some 15 months. My life has been radically changed by the young adult Catholics I met in Rochester—and I mean that in all honesty. Here’s the thing: never before had I met a group of people who made Catholicism look so dang COOL. People say the truth is attractive, and let me tell you, the people I met lived truth like nobody’s business. I’ve made the most authentic friendships with people who actually care about my spiritual life along with the other parts of my life. But most importantly of all, I found myself—I found what is authentically me.

Looking back, I never would’ve guessed that my mom’s bladder could’ve made such a big change in my life, but I guess that’s just how life works sometimes. “God works in mysterious ways”, sure enough. In this case, He worked through the young adults in our Catholic community. I don’t thank Him nearly enough for the blessing of great friends.

So, long story short, don’t be afraid to risk being the Little Engine That Couldn’t! Meanwhile, I’ll be working on those spiritual muscles…lifting His name on high.

About the Author:

During the day, Ethan Heinzen works at Mayo Clinic, where he spends his time statisticizing, curing women’s cancers, and being wicked awesome. In the evenings, he moonlights as an award-winning award winner and enjoys eating chicken nuggets, running to the freezer to get more chicken nuggets, and composing poems about—you guessed it—chicken nuggets. He also likes Jesus a lot.

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