I was born into a Christian home on the 20th of May, 2002 to my parents Keneth and Tracy Clapp along with my brother Enoch. Even though I was born in Oklahoma, I am a Texan as I have lived in Texas for as long as I can remember.
My family first moved to Texas when I was about four years old. We moved in with my grandmother because at the time both of my parents were unemployed. After a failed business attempt my father found work at the West Hill Church of Christ. Most of my memories from when
my family lived there come from time spent at that church. My mother also got a job there being in charge of their preschool.
During my time in that preschool, I gathered many memories. Not of the school specifically but more of the church. I would wander around the building and talk to anyone working there. I remember having many conversations with the secretary and janitor. I would also wander into the youth minister’s office and play with the putting green. But after about five years my family moved again.
This time we moved to Stockdale. A small town that at the time we moved didn’t even have a stoplight. Ever since the move, my father has been working as the preacher at the Stockdale Church of Christ. I lived in this town until I graduated high school and left for college.
While many people during their school years spend it with friends, and in some cases studying, I spent it watching movies and television. While I did have friends, we would never do much together. I would describe them less as friends and more as ‘workplace proximity associates’. Once the bell rang at 3:30 we would part ways. This went all the way through high school. I would occasionally spend time with my brother and his friends. My brother was not overly fond of that, and would usually find some bogus excuse to exclude me. As time has gone on, I’ve gotten used to being by myself, and am more or less okay with it.
Through the years I have developed many hobbies. I am definitely not a master of one, but rather an enthusiast of many. I’ve dabbled in costume making, prop making, woodworking, Nerf modding, along with a couple of other things. But nothing has ever intrigued my interest as much as movies. Watching a lot of movies, I’ve learned quite a bit about various subjects.
Growing up in church I would watch a fair amount of Christian movies. While others I know would rage about some of these movies, I can’t help but cringe. Almost all of them are heavy-handed, use familiar plot devices, and usually come to the same conclusion. In the future, I would like to be a filmmaker. Not just Christian movies, but all kinds. I know the film industry can be less than holy, to say the least, but anytime I doubt my decision to make movies I feel like God is telling me to trust him and keep going.
My faith was never really my own until I moved to college. I have always believed but rather due to the fact that it was just part of my life rather than a choice. Now that I am on my own in a new place I can make the choice to believe rather than being forced to go to every church function. Don’t get me wrong I did enjoy going, but since my father is a preacher there, there was always this expectation of me to be better. My parents didn’t put those expectations on me, but everyone else did. Now that I am on my own I am free from these expectations, and what people think of me is all my own doing.
Now that I am making my faith my own and becoming my own person I am learning how I can better serve God. Moving forward I hope that I can be a good example of a Christian to others. Not just in my career, but in my personal life as well.
I am too conscious of myself to not think it possible that I have failed many times, and will fail many more. I believe that I can learn and grow from all my mistakes, no matter what they are. During my brief time in college thus far I have already made several mistakes and proved to
myself that I can grow and move past them.
Learning from these mistakes I have learned to believe in three things. These three things have become somewhat of a rule set I choose to live by. The first and most important thing is to believe and trust in God no matter the circumstances. The second is, to tell the truth, no matter what. This rule clicked for me while I was watching my favorite movie, Yesterday. Towards the climax of the film the main character, Jack meets John Lennon. John says a line that deeply resonated with me. It is, “Do you want a good life, Jack? It’s not hard. All you have to do is tell the girl you love that you love her, and tell the truth whenever you can.” As for the last “rule,” it is an old Spanish phrase, “Sic Parvis Magna”. It simply means “Greatness from small beginnings”. I first heard it in my favorite video game series “Uncharted”, but these words have grown so important to me that I wear them everywhere I go in the form of a ring. I believe that these three things are the key to having a good life. Knowing God will always be there and help you rise up from even the smallest of beginnings and mistakes is something I try and remind myself of every day.
I don’t put too much thought into my appearance, but I do always have my ring on my finger and a cross around my neck. I want people to see me and know who I am. They may not know exactly who I am to start, but they will hopefully know That I am a Christian. As for the hat, that’s more of a superstition than anything else.
So now you know where I came from, and that I believe that God has sent me here. The church here in Tyler has been amazing. It is definitely the best thing that’s happened to me since I started college. I hope that through my time here I can serve and become closer to God, as well as help others of my generation come to know him better.