One night at the gym

Jacob - Blackfoot, Idaho
Entered on January 21, 2009

As a nineteen year old young man I look around the world in search of my place in life. In a world that is full of possibilities, it is hard to find your place. So many choices to make, so many roads I can travel. I look around for an example to follow, someone to pattern my life after. I see the doctor on the corner that is never home, but has great riches. I see my father working the fields, but is too tired to play with his kids. I see the teacher everyday teach the same things to her students. What am I to do? What is my place in this world?

I resort to the only thing that I know for sure that I love, basketball. I pick up my ball and tennis shoes and head straight for the gymnasium. It starts out like any other time of going to the gym. As I enter the parking lot I see only one car, looks as if it will be shooting drills by myself today.

As I turn on the lights, I take a moment to enjoy the smell of the stain on the court, the bounce of the ball, the feel of my Nikes laced up high and tight. This is why I love this game. As I begin to shoot the ball, an old friend comes into the gym. He is dressed and ready for a game of basketball, but it is just the two of us this night. We strike up a conversation as we continue to shoot the basketball.

As the conversation begins to change I am hesitant. He begins to talk about God and his purpose in life. I have heard this enough, I thought to myself. I get it from my church leaders, my parents, and now my friend starts into me, but this is different. This is something I haven’t felt before. He talks about direction, peace, and happiness, all of which I thought was unattainable for me. Is it really what I was looking for; is this what I want in my life? He challenges me to do something that I haven’t done for years, pray. As I stand with him in the middle of the court, sweat drops rolling down my face. I promise him that I will pray to God that night. To find what he wants of me in my life.

As I enter into my room I unlace my shoes, my mind is racing, thinking of what I am about to do. I go down on one knee, then the other. As I kneel, I grasp my hands together and I begin to talk, talk to God once again. I feel something I have never felt before, a warmth, a sense of need, a never ending love. My muscles may be sore, but for the first time, my heart is full.

This is why I believe in peace and happiness in this world. It is not the riches, it is not the rows of potatoes, and it is not the basketball court. It is family, it is friends, it is knowing that someone cares about you, God. It is the time that you spend with the ones that you love and care for. I am blessed, I am happy, I am worth something!