Life in the NCCC

There is a saying in AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) that goes something like this:  “You’ve got to be flexible, from the ‘f” to the ‘e’.” 

There are times in life that we must learn how to bend and twist, or we will break.  Sometimes it’s as simple as getting focused on what we want to do, while other times it is just going with the flow.  When I first got to Denver, I was certain that I wanted to be on the Fire Management Team working with Wildfires and Fire Prevention.  But I had to learn how to be flexible, and it paid off in the end. 

It all started the first week we got to campus, when the Team Leaders asked who was interested in the Fire Management Team.  Just in the Sun Unit, about 30 or so hands went in the air.  The other Units (Fire, Water and Earth) had slightly smaller amounts of interest.  Because of the huge number of people interested, they asked everyone to write a paper and come to the interest meeting. 

After the interest meeting, only 22 people from my unit signed up for an interview, competing for a spot on the team of 10 (and 3 alternate positions).  In the end, 13 of us were left from Sun to run the baseline. 

In my head, I told myself, “I got this.”  I am strong with written words, so I felt my paper was strong and my interview went well.  During the baseline, I ran a decent mile and did okay in the push-ups and sit-ups, despite straining my abdominal wall in the process.  I knew that I had what it took to get on the team.

But I wasn’t willing to be flexible.  I had told God and myself that I would be fine wherever I was placed, but I thought that my place was on this specific team. 

When I was told that I was an alternate, beneath the calm exterior, I was angry.  I wasn’t angry that I didn’t make the team, I was angry with myself for not letting God use me in His plan.  I had made up my mind, and I didn’t ask him about it. 

After talking to myself, God revealed the bigger plan.  Later that afternoon (after CPR and First Aid training) the Team Leaders blindfolded all of us, shuffled us around, made us do some ridiculous activities (arranging ourselves by age, alphabetical order, etc.), and put us into vans to drive around the parking lot, before revealing our teams (those in the van with us). 

While I did not get my first choice of projects, I did get my first choice in Team Leaders and I got placed on an amazing team of great people.  I couldn’t ask for a better team.  Each one of them are strong individuals and team players, not afraid to work together for the betterment of the team. 

God is showing me that his plans are far better than the ones that I thought were flawless.  He has given me so many opportunities to develop and grow into the person he is creating me to be.  He is teaching me how to be flexible and how to be patient. 

The moral of the story is simple:  Be flexible.  Allow God to lead.  Be open to how he is shaping you to who he is creating you to be. 

God Bless and PEACE


Author: stkerr

Artist. Photographer. Writer. Nomad. Alumni of AmeriCorps NCCC, FEMA Corps and the St Louis Emergency Response Team. Dispatcher.

2 thoughts on “Life in the NCCC”

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