By Mason Zgoda, Class of 2018
When I was younger, I wanted to be a member of Congress. I had an image in my head, perhaps fueled by too many episodes of Glenn Beck, that I would be able to turn the tides of American politics from the inside through a passion for reasoned and integral lawmaking. As a political studies major, I now know the life of a congressman is not exactly the plot of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. The work can be grueling and pedantic. It often means being away from one’s family, spending nights in a small apartment in the capital. Half of one’s time is spent on the proceedings of legislation, while another significant portion is dedicated to the energy-sapping but necessary matters of campaigning—the proverbial shaking hands and kissing babies. When Senator Scott Wilk visited us at Master’s, I could see the toll of this work in his eyes and manner. But interestingly, the quiet exhaustion was intermingled with a true excitement. After speaking in chapel, he came to meet us in Dr. Stead’s Constitutional History class. He eagerly shook each hand, took each name, joked and smiled genuinely. I was impressed hearing him rattle off details about his constituency and a list of gun legislation bills that had been on the docket the year before. His breadth of knowledge was apparent, but, even more so, the seriousness with which he takes his job. Yet, there were no idealistic overtones in describing the role like those my sixteen-year-old self would have used. When discussing one of his greatest joys as a senator, he explained the simple pleasure of dragging random families visiting the capitol building into behind the scenes spots, letting them sit in his chair and take pictures, whether they were constituents or not. The hardest part of the job? Taking photos. So many photos. These were not answers I expected to hear, but they endeared me to the Senator because of their honesty and plainness. The job of a senator is not as exciting or as posh as we imagine. It is a job just like any other, and all jobs require the same thing from the believer: that they be done as unto the Lord. It was clear in each answer and in the entire demeanor of Senator Wilk that he desires to do just that. Not fifteen minutes after telling us how much he hates taking photos, Senator Wilk, beaming proudly, held up a Master’s University sweatshirt and posed for a picture with Dr. Stead. Willingness. That is all one needs to be used by the Lord, whether in the capitol or the classroom, and the constituents of Senator Wilk should pray that his willingness is both sustained and rewarded.