To be completely honest, the first time I met him he scared me.
He was the dad of one of my childhood friends. I didn’t have many opportunities to interact with him back then, but when I did, I was intimidated. He was always kind, and never mean to me, but I desired not to cross him, ever. His presence demanded respect, and by golly, he received it. Especially from me.
I was blessed to see him the other day. As we exchanged small talk, memories came flooding back from 20+ years ago.
I was taken back to after a high school basketball game. Back then we played 6-on-6 ball. I was a forward, so my job was scoring points. My friend’s dad approached me, and asked if I would be willing to work with him to improve my shooting, namely my free throws.
Part of me shook in my sneakers, yet part of me couldn’t wait to learn from him.
Not only was he the father of my friend, he was a coach of another sport at our school–a boy’s sport–and an excellent one at that. He had led his team to numerous state championships and titles.
So, why me? Why would he want to work with me? A friend of his daughter’s, who plays basketball?
Still partly shaking in my high tops, Sunday evenings we’d head up to the high school gym, and we’d shoot. And we’d shoot. And we’d shoot. He retaught me everything… the best way to stand, the proper angle, where to hold the ball and where to aim, how to flip my wrist on release, and follow through. It changed everything in my game.
He changed everything in my game.
There’s no doubt in my mind it was because of his influence and instruction I was invited to play college ball.
But that’s not the coolest part in all of this. The coolest part is he took the time to care.
He saw something in me, and took time out of his life to invest into mine.
I will always be grateful for that, mostly because of the example he set for me in investing in others’ lives. Investing when you have nothing to gain from it. Investing for the sake of making the other person better.
Investing to make an impact.
I’m reminded again each time I have a basketball in my hands. Each time I linger back to my basketball days. Each time I see him.
I desire to follow his example. To invest in the lives of others, without any benefit to myself. To notice someone enough to see something special, and to be willing to help that person grow. To be an example for the next generation.
I need to let him know what an impact he had on me and my life.
Who has impacted you? Who has invested in your life? I’d love to read your story if you care to share it below.
May you and I invest our lives into another’s today.
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What a lovely story!
I’m afraid no one’s really invested in my life. Quite the opposite, really. Childhood was a bit of an ordeal, and I carried a pistol from the age of 12 onward.This was before the days of zero tolerance – my teachers at school merely gave me a wide berth.
It’s certainly taught self-reliance, but it’s taken away much of the capacity to channel grace through accepting help. I know that people want to help; but I’m conditioned to doing everything alone.
Particularly bad now. I’m married, which is counterintuitive to anyone who knows me, and very ill. And yet, it;’s almost impossible for me to accept help from my wife. If I collapse, I’d sooner crawl than take an proffered hand.
It’s an idiotic way to live.
Andrew, thank you. I’m sorry to read no one invested in your life when you were younger. But I imagine you have people now that do that. Your wife? Your on-line community? I’ll do what I can to invest over the miles and through this blog world. 🙂 It’s a blessing to get to know you better. Lifting you in prayer today.
Thanks, Julie – I do try to invest in my wife, and in the people and groups I’ve been privileged to get to know online.
And in my dogs – having 26 canine personalities (all rescues) around is surely a responsibility, and a blessing.
Andrew, from what I can tell, you invest in others’ lives often and well. You have your hands full with 26 canine personalities! That’s investing!
I’m not sure I knew you were a basketball player. Super cool. I love learning new things about people I adore. 🙂 This is a great reminder, Julie, to invest in others. And often the small things we do can make a big impact. The first example of someone investing in me that I can think of is a female pastor from my parent’s church. She saw my pain and at that time I really needed someone to see me. Thanks for sharing your story. Blessings. xoxo
I love to read stories of impact, just like yours and the pastor from your parent’s church. May I be like her and see someone who needs me! Yes, I also love learning new things about my friends! I still want to meet you some day soon. I believe we agreed after the new year. Can’t wait!! Have a blessed day, my friend!
I love this, Julie! Sometimes we have no idea the impact we have on someone’s life when we just take the time. For me, it was my high school English teacher. He saw my ability to write and pushed me to apply to the Governor’s School for Creative Writing. I never would have done it if it wasn’t for him. He saw something in me that I didn’t, and I’ll always be grateful. Thanks for sharing this post. So inspiring.
Abby, thank you for sharing how your English teacher believed in you and inspired you. I love that! I pray God opens our eyes to take the time to impact the lives of others everywhere we go. May your weekend be blessed, friend! Thanks for being here.
What a great story of what a difference an investment makes. Caring, sharing and taking a few minutes makes all the difference in the world. Thanks for sharing.
Chris, it really does make all the difference in the world. It did for me. Thank you for stopping in and for sharing. Have a great day!
Great post. We have just entered competitive soccer with one of my daughters. Of all the clubs to chose from, and we didn’t know much about any of them, I am so glad God led us to the club we are in. This club never refuses a child–ever. The president and board of the club has been know to take money out of their own pocket to cover expenses for some of these children to play. They invest money, but also time into these children. They realize they are not only forming great soccer players, but also great kids who will grow up to be, hopefully, great adults.
Jenny, you are speaking my language. Competitive soccer, and equipping kids to grow up to be great adults. My son has played competitive soccer for years, and it’s heartwarming to read how the club your daughter participates in operates. Love it! What a way to invest in others’ lives! I’m so glad you shared this example. Thank you for stopping by and for living out your faith. God bless you!
Julie- This was beautiful! We never forget the people who invested in our lives and helped shape us into who we are. My parents were two of those people from early on. As an adult, I had a good friend, Maria, who invited me one day to join in her women’s small group and the Bible studies that they did. It was life changing. My relationship with God is what it is today because of one invitation. The amazing part about my friend is how she lived her life even when diagnosed with brain cancer which eventually took her life. One example and one invitation taught me more than lots of words. Touched by your story today and blessed that your joined The Weekend Brew today. Hugs, friend!
Thank you, Mary, for sharing some of your story and for your encouragement. I appreciate how you and Barbie are walking alongside of each other for The Weekend Brew. Your example is inspiring. Your friend must have been one amazing woman of God. My heart is always drawn toward those who live their faith, and it sounds like Maria did. Hugs right back at ya!
Ken Carbaugh, volunteered at the summer camp where I was a fresh, snotty-nosed 17-year-old director of horsemanship. I thought I knew a lot. But Ken, a balding guy in his 60s or 70s knew infinitely more than I did. He never put me in my place (which I probably deserved), but he gently went about teaching me what he knew. He invested in me for two weeks each summer–and I learned so much from him–about being nice to young people who think they know it all; about horses; about life. He had actually cut Howard Hughes hair once (a new pair of scissors for each snip). Yeah. I didn’t know much back then!
Wow, great story, Anita! I loved reading what you shared. Yeah, I’m with you… I thought I knew everything when I was 17 too. Ken sounds like a wise man who was all about investing into the lives of others. I want to be like him. Thank you for sharing some of your story here, friend. I sure appreciate you and your friendship! Have a blessed week.
I didn’t grow up in a Christian home. I am so thankful for the women who invested their time and energy into me when I accepted the Lord at the age of 20. I don’t think I would be walking with the Lord today if someone hadn’t picked me up and taken me to church, Bible Study and Sunday School each week. And I had a fabulous mentor early on in my walk who made a lasting impact on my life and walk with the Lord. Thank you for sharing at The Weekend Brew!
Barbie, your story is incredible. What a gift those women were/are to you! I love testimonies like this of how people made a difference in another’s life. Thank you for sharing it here. God bless you, friend. I so enjoy The Weekend Brew. Hugs to you!