Michael and the Basketball Game

Trip Start Aug 07, 2009
Trip End Dec 31, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Maryland
Friday, November 6, 2009

This afternoon, we did a show at a Youth Ranch. It, like Thursday morning's school, is an alternative educational facility. We didn't go as a part of the school day, however. Arn leads a Bible study there with some of the kids, so we showed our video as part of it. So we were able to show, for the first time, our evangelistic version. There were only four kids there, and we projected the video on the bare wall. It was small scale, but just as important as an auditorium full of kids. Kinda neat.
The kids were too cool to respond much afterward. So we said a few words anyway, then ate cookies and played basketball. Only one of the kids stayed behind to play basketball, so he, Arn, and I played...some game, I don't really remember what it's called. Fifty? Or something like that? Anyway, it was cutthroat, two-on-one. And to win, you basically have to just play better than the other two. Like I said, I don't know much about it.

Okay, now when it comes to basketball, I've got little to show. I can sometimes hold my own if I'm having an "on"-day--sink a few free-throws, drain a couple 3-pointers, slam a dunk (okay...not even on an "on" day). But anyway, the three of us played. It didn't take long for me to realize that I'm in no shape to play basketball. I was out of breath, throat dry, legs aching, feeling dizzy... did that stop me?? Well, yeah, for a couple minutes. But then we played some more.
Now, to compensate for my lack of skill, I just amp up the reckless energy. Ergo, I just end up sliding around on the floor a lot, scrambling for the ball. That results in a number of scrapes on my joints, bumps on my head, and the occasional lucky basket. All was going okay (exhausting, but okay) until a ball to the face left me bloody, disoriented, and nauseated. That was it for me. I stumbled into the bathroom and found respite on the floor until I could gather myself together enough to relocate to the couch.

I was feeling kinda miserable and embarrassed, aside from the headache... but what Arn said afterward made me feel better: "Hey, Mike, I really appreciate how you played so enthusaistically. It really means a lot to these guys. Seeing you have fun helps them to have fun. Because these guys don't get to play with people like you. Usually they're just on their own, mindlessly shooting the ball one after the other. So playing around with a guy who plays with energy and enthusiasm is refreshing. So, thanks."

Cool. That made it worth it, I hope.

And that was it. From there, we pulled out and left Frederick. All in all, it was another refreshing week working with Youth for Christ. But that's it for a while. Now we're on our own again.

* * *

That night, at a gas station en route to our next hotel, we met a man who was also filling up. Come to find out, he's a pastor of a local church. He gave us his card, and we said we'd try to make it to his church this weekend. To be continued :)
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