Even in Control of Basketball

Morning would either bring an excited 9-year-old boy, or one that was very disappointed. It all hinged on a phone call. "Help them to call, Lord!" I prayed as I tucked the portable handset under my pillow. "Please help them to call!"

I don't know what spurred him on to become interested in joining our town's minor league basketball team, but it didn't matter. Since he is usually a sedentary child, and since I had been praying that he would become more active, the sudden interest in basketball was a real answer to prayer.

But just being "interested" isn't enough. We also had to "join"-a feat which proved rather challenging! Our first obstacle had been in finding information about the league. Then there was the tiny complication that we had missed the general registration. But the final obstacle was that the first meeting-the time the children would meet to be divided up into teams-was the only time my son couldn't be there!

"No problem," we were told. "He will be placed on a team, and someone will call you with any pertinent information!"

This sounded like a good compromise, and we decided to not worry about it. Until now that is. The first practice/game would most likely take place the next morning, and that all-important call had NOT come in! We didn't know when, and we weren't 100% certain if there would even BE a game!

Morning came, and the telephone remained completely silent. WHAT WAS I TO DO? Then it came to me. I knew where the teams played. What if we just "showed up"-say between 9:30 and 10:00? We would be taking a chance, but maybe, just maybe, it would work out. And so at 9:30, I ushered my son in the car and we drove to the gym. Just as I had hoped, his division was just starting their practice, and it didn't take too long for the coaches to place my son his team.

I was feeling pretty good for having had this "idea". In fact, I was starting to pat myself on the back. Then I asked the coach the fateful question: "How long are they playing?"

What I meant was really "What time do I pick him up," but the coach must have thought I was referring to how long the playing season would be, for he responded with, "Wait! Let me get you a schedule!"

A schedule? Why would I need a schedule? We come every week at 9:45 a.m., right? But when the schedule was placed into my hand, I stared at it in utter amazement. My son's team NEVER played at the same time two weeks in a row! Sometimes his team played at 8:30, sometimes at 11:15, and sometimes at 12:30! But today, they were playing from 9:45 to 11. I scanned the rest of the schedule, and it soon became apparent that today was the ONLY day they played at this hour!

I walked out of the gym deep in thought. Just how was it that I had the idea to show up at the gym at the VERY TIME they would be playing today? It seemed far more than a coincidence to me. I pondered this over the course of the next hour, and when I picked my son up at 11, I mentioned to him how lucky he had been to be able to play.

He smiled broadly. Too broadly. There was something more to the story. "What?" I asked. "Did you pray?"

"Yes!" He yelled excitedly. "I prayed last night that I would be able to play basketball today!"

Suddenly it all made sense. I had prayed for a specific solution that I thought God would use, and it hadn't happened. But my son had simply put the whole problem in God's hands, and God had responded by giving me the idea of just "showing up"-at the exact time they would be playing today! I had been praying for what I saw as the only solution, while my son remembered that God has MANY different ways of accomplishing things, and left the details to Him!

The next time you think that you know the solution to a problem and begin praying that solution, remember my son's prayers. Don't put God in a box, put the problem completely in His hands instead! You will be amazed at His answers!

Oh. And the next time you feel impressed to something as risky as "showing up" at a gym, remember, it might be of God in response to your child's prayers! Don't hesitate! Just GO!

Lyn Chaffart

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