Four of my current payers were on my teams at camp, three of them in excess of ten times each The following is about one of the young ladies who played for one of the various versions of the Lady Wildcats. It is from October 25, 2007.
She walked up to me Friday night after our Homecoming football game. We were hosting a Fifth Quarter party in our school cafeteria, a get-together for WCS alumni, students, teachers, and parents to share food and unwind after the big game. She was with Russell, one of our seniors, and she asked if I knew her. Even though there was a familiarity, I was stumped. Seeing my confusion, she told me she was Linden. Then I saw it. Linden had been one of my middle school basketball players in seventh grade. She was only at WCS for one year before transferring. She's a senior at a big public school and I have not seen her in the intervening five years. Now as tall as me, Linden is gracious and confident and I really enjoyed catching up with her. I reminded her that she always responded with, "Okey dokey" when I gave her coaching points. She reminded me that I used to harp on her not being precise in her approach to the game. Haley and Taraka, two of my current players, came by as we were speaking. Linden's advice to the pair was to keep playing basketball, which she gave up after her ninth grade year. I hope Taraka and Haley were listening....and I hope I see Linden again.
I pray on a daily basis for every girl that has played for me at WCS. This is what I find strange about my reconnecting with Linden last weekend: I've prayed for her every day since the start of her seventh grade year and I still failed to recognize her. For the past nineteen hundred or so consecutive days, I have mentioned Linden to the Lord, right between Kristin and Athena, and I still didn't know who she was. When I close my eyes, I can see twelve year old Linden but there was no age progression in my mind. When face-to-face with the grown-up version, I struck out. Maybe I do that more than with just prayer lists and former players. It's easy to classify someones spiritual development and confine them to one category, not giving them the chance to mature and strengthen their walk with the Lord. I was shocked to see Linden, but I shouldn't have been. She simply grew into a lovely young lady while I wasn't looking. It isn't so hard to imagine that many former students do the same academically, socially, and spiritually when out of my eyesight. I may still see them at the point they departed, which sometimes was their low-water mark. I remember their ebb tide and fail to foresee the high tide that is still possible in the life of a young person. Gravity from the moon pulls the waves to the shore. Influence from heaven pulls the young man or woman back to the proper course. Fortunately, my forecasting skills can't get in the way of the Lord's plans, either with nature or with teenagers. He seems to do fine without me. Just ask Linden.
Applicable quote of the day:
"Happiness is not a matter of events; it depends on the tides of the mind."
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