Yesterday I met a kid named Tony. Tony is eleven years old and had gone with his mother to visit his older brother in boarding school where I was, visiting Ken. Ken has recently fallen in love with basketball, so we were out on the court practicing when Tony walked up but was safely watching from a bit of a distance. I called him over, inviting him to play with us.
I would just like to point out that most Kenyans play soccer and basketball is a foreign concept.
Tony was no different than most Kenyans, but after a little help he started to hit some shots. A shot going in or out didn’t matter to him, but I noticed anything that I would say did matter. “Good shot” and his eyes would light up… “Almost” and he’d smile… “Whoa! You missed that one bad!” and he’d laugh.
More and more kids came out and soon we had 5 on 5 and I was watching. As they’d play I’d stop them and give advice. Tony would be quick to run up and listen intently on what I was saying often commenting what a “sweet game” this was.
When I showed him where to play and his “invisible triangle” to stay in, he responded excitedly “so, I’m a midfielder!” to which I said “Actually, n- … well, sure – you’re a midfielder!”
Tony stayed in that triangle the rest of the day and became the best midfielder to ever play the game of basketball…despite having more turnovers and missed shots than assists or points.
Today, Tony had fun.
Today, Tony got attention.
Today, Tony felt loved and valued.
And sometimes… that’s all that matters.
Will you join me in making time for someone this week? No preaching. No motives. Just time.
“You will never find time for anything. You must make time.”