Affinity Is a Peculiar Thing

On The Court

You know, when the universe whispers, I try my best to perk up and listen.

Sunday afternoon I was reminded of the importance of being on the court rather than in the stands.

About 4:30pm, I pulled into the driveway. Both kids were out front with huge grins plastered on their faces.

Well, this is quite interesting, I thought …

Wonder what’s up?

Then I saw the sign in the front yard and remembered.

Oh Yes. Of course. The sign.

Sad to report, I missed Maddy’s basketball game on Sunday. Worse yet, I missed something far more important to her.

Happy to report, she won the Weekly Sportsmanship Award for her hustle and teamwork.

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On one hand I am pumped for her. She thrives on recognition.

Look at how proud she is :).

On the other hand, what a day to miss a game, right?

I never miss games.

In my defense, she wasn’t even supposed to be on the team.

See, back in early December when I went to register at the YMCA, I was informed that the league filled up in less than 48 hours. Weeks passed before we were notified (via complete silence) that her number wasn’t going to be called off of the ‘wait list.’

By then, all other leagues were filled too. Registration closed.

Instead, the kids settled for a driveway basketball goal for Christmas. I sold the two of them on the idea that we’d have family games each weekend. Inside though, I knew that wouldn’t be enough.

I was right.

As we watched my nephew, Luke, play his first game a couple Sundays ago, Maddy confided in Kristin that she really wanted to be out there too.

And wouldn’t you know it … Through a stroke of luck, Luke’s team ended up with only 9 players. A friend of a friend recommended we talk to a friend and … Bam!

Next week she was in the game.

From in the stands, to on the court, to award-winner in the span of three weeks …

The Lord works in mysterious ways.

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Funny thing about it though, is I had it all wrong. That’s not what they were smiling about, out front, on Sunday afternoon. Not in the least.

I hopped out of the car, ready to receive Maddy with a congratulatory hug and instead, in unison, they busted out …

“Daddy, Daddy, is it a boy or a girl?”

“What?” I asked, puzzled.

“Did you get a BOY or a GIRL,” they both repeated impatiently.

“Ohh …. hahaha …. It’s a boy. His name is Nicholas. And guess what, he goes to my old school. How crazy is that?”

Crazy and not crazy at all.

Let me explain …

Back in Episode 3 of the Podcast, I interviewed Alicia Hoffman — Founder of Whiz Biz Kids. Alicia and I met at a networking function and when I heard about the mission behind her local project, I was instantly sold.

I have a ton of respect for the impact she is making for our younger generation. I told her to keep me apprised of opportunities to get involved and support Whiz Biz Kids in the future.

And that’s how I met Nicholas.

One of the youngest “Apprentices” in the room on Sunday, he showed up to participate in the networking / group discussion and made it clear that he had no intention of being paired with a mentor.

Until …

Until we met …

Until he found out that he attends the same private school that I did growing up. Until he found out I played baseball and basketball. Until he found out that wife was a golf professional.

Until he, on his own volition, sought me out during the networking portion and started peppering me with questions left and right.

I other words …

Until we connected.

Affinity is a peculiar thing.

In the span of mere minutes he sold his mom on the possibility of he and I becoming teammates this semester.

From in the stands to on the court to ______________.

Over the course of the next 5–6 months, Nicholas and I will work together to make his young dreams come true.

Yes, most definitely, the Lord works in mysterious ways.

Listen for those whispers.

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Ryan France

Ryan France is a native of Austin Texas, father of two, super-early riser, avid reader, admitted podcast junkie & bulletproof coffee addict. In a past life, France was an aspiring professional baseball player. Today, Ryan is an entrepreneur, author and relentless innovator of the real estate industry. Read more on the "Who is Ryan?" page.