by Mr. Christian Klepeiss
My name is Christian Klepeiss, a science and math teacher and an assistant football coach here at Trinity High School. I am now in my third year at Trinity High School. The past few years have been a blessing, a challenge, and a period of refinement in my professional and personal life since moving to the Camp Hill area from State College with my family. I have been truly challenged and have seen tremendous growth over these three years for not just me, but my family. I can honestly say the move to Camp Hill was God’s plan for our lives. But like many times when we are taken out of our comfort zone, this move has shown me just how much I still needed to grow personally and spiritually.
To be honest, I did not want to move away from an area where I had lived for the past 12 years. Our family had put down some roots. Our kids were doing well socially and academically. And for those who don’t already know this, Penn State is God’s country (sorry Notre Dame fans!). However, we felt God was calling us to make the move. I assured myself and my kids it would all work out, but deep down I was nervous. Despite my best efforts to project knowledge, wisdom, and strength in all I tried to accomplish, the reality of the past few years has been one of a daily surrender in order for me to keep moving forward in all I am trying to still accomplish.
Now the word “surrender” certainly doesn’t sound like much of an accomplishment. We always teach our athletes at Trinity to compete until the final whistle; our culture prides itself on self-reliance and self-promotion. And, to be honest, I have always had a personality that struggles to relinquish control of most any situation in my life. Projecting strength and having the right answers seems to be the name of the game we are all trying to play. But in truth, my greatest accomplishments have come when I have realized my complete weakness and inadequacy. In reading this week’s Gospel readings, I was reminded how often the Bible tells us to fear not, but seek God for our source of peace and strength when we feel the pressures of life piling up around us:
“Brothers and sisters: Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”–Philippians 4:6-7
I have come to rely on my colleagues for their perspectives more than I ever have. I have opened my eyes to a new community of students from a variety of different backgrounds that differ from my own. And some days, I have felt like a first-year teacher again (which is not always a good feeling), despite teaching for the past 13 years. But in all these difficult moments, God has been walking right beside me. He has shown me that my own strength will never be enough. He has reassured me to lay down all my worries and anxieties in order to have real peace. And He has blessed me and my family beyond what I could have ever imagined with the new friends and opportunities here at Trinity. I have learned to be grateful for my weakness, for through those weak moments, He continues to make me stronger with his grace and power. My hope for all who may read this little testimony is that we all have a source of power and peace far greater than what we could ever accomplish on our own. I am so grateful for the opportunity Trinity has provided me to grow and to learn continually in these past few years and years to come!