“This I believe…”
“Everything happens for a reason”
Throughout my life there have been several incidents when the phrase “everything happens for a reason” has pertained. I believe that everything does happen for a reason, no matter how good or how bad it may be. When I was a young freshman trying out for my high school varsity basketball team, there was nothing I wanted more than to make it. Ever since I can remember my goal was the to be on the varsity team as a freshman-a difficult task, but attainable nonetheless. After three strenuous days of tryouts, I really did not know where I stood, but to be honest, I could not fathom being cut and the failure that I would feel. I cannot ever remember being as nervous as I was that Tuesday night up at the gym. . When the decision came, I was called into the coach’s office and he gently broke the news to me, “Bradie, we feel that placing you on the junior varsity team would be most appropriate. You are just not ready to compete at the varsity level.” As the information soaked in, I composed myself just long enough to open the door to my mother’s van, waiting outside in the parking lot. She was aware of the news immediately. While tears ran down my cheeks, she consoled me the entire ride home and for many nights to come. She repeatedly said that everything happens for a reason. She said that I needed to keep my head up, no matter how hard it may be for me, but as I knew it, my life was over. I didn’t understand why I had failed so miserably or how to cope with it.
As the winter progressed, I quickly learned to enjoy my time on JV, even before I knew what was in store for me later on. One night we battled in a tough game against a near-by town, one that we ended up winning in over-time. As my father came up to congratulate me on the thrilling win, he had even bigger news. “This is Steve White, the coach of the Boston Heat AAU, and he would like to offer you a place on his elite team.” AAU stands for Amateur Athletic Union and players from all over the states come together to make up different teams. A middle-aged man was next to my father in a blue collared shirt, he had with a warm smile across his face. I was slightly caught off guard as he began to speak because nothing like this had ever happened to me before. At first I was wondering why he was even there in the first place, but I later found out that he had come to watch one of his current players, whom I just competed against. “Hi Bradie, my name is Mr. White and after watching you play tonight I would love for you to come play for me on the Heat. It’s a terrific team and I know you would fit in perfectly with the girls.”
When I arrived home that night, Mr. White needed a phone call from me with an answer. After discussing what it would be like as a brand new player on an established team and the financial requirements that come with playing competitive AAU, my parents and I decided to take the risk. I had always played AAU basketball, but never with people that I had never met. In six seasons with the Heat I have made some of my best friends. Together we have been through a lot, whether it be facing a disappointing loss, celebrating a thrilling win, or one of my favorites like pulling an all-nighter in our hotel at our New York tournament. There is no doubt in my mind that I will keep in touch with my teammates. Looking back, I thank that varsity coach for placing me on JV. Everything does happen for a reason. This I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.