On Second Thought: What is essential?

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 25, 2024

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By Marie Harrison
For the Clemmons Courier

With my daughter playing basketball for her school this year, I think one of the things I am most grateful for is carpool. With practice after school four days a week at a gym not located on the school campus, without carpool, I would have to pick my daughter up from school, drive her to the gym, sit and wait for an hour for practice to finish and then drive home… four days a week. But with carpool? I’m only on the spot for Tuesdays. That’s my day to pick up my daughter and three other girls and drive them to practice or a game. And so, that’s how I found myself driving down the road to Kernersville this past Tuesday with a car full of girls all excited to chat about their day at school, munch on a few snacks and prepare for the upcoming game. 

It was a chilly day on Tuesday so I made sure to be towards the front of the carpool line so the girls wouldn’t have to sit in the cold for too long, and since they were the first ones picked up, that means they were also the first to arrive for the game. Since we were early, we sat in the car and waited for others from the team to show up before heading inside. After about 10 minutes, as it got closer to time to change into their uniforms, it happened. One of the girls couldn’t find the black bag that contained her uniform. Surely it was in the car somewhere. There were so many backpacks and lunch boxes and uniform bags, it had to be here, right? The girls began tearing through the car, bags flying everywhere, looking in vain for that one black bag, but it quickly became apparent; the bag wasn’t in there. It was back at school. Left in a hallway.

What do we do? While this young lady could have played the game with regular sneakers and not basketball shoes, there was no substitute for a uniform. She had to have that in order to play, no exceptions. And the game started in 30 minutes, the clock was ticking. If I left now, I would have just enough time to drive 15 minutes back to the school, grab the uniform and drive 15 minutes back to the game. Since time was of the essence, there was no time to stop and think, there was no other choice, this is what had to be done. And so, that’s what I did. I quickly unloaded all the girls from my car and hopped on the road. A quick text to the school to alert them of the missing bag meant that thankfully, it was found sitting in the hallway just where the young lady thought she had left it, and the school had it ready for me to pick up as I flew into the parking lot, taking the turn on two wheels. With just two minutes to spare, I made it back to the game, uniform in hand and the young lady was able to change and get out on the court without missing too much of the first quarter. Disaster narrowly avoided.

As I drove back and forth and back again, all to deliver a uniform that was of the utmost necessity, I started thinking; what are the essentials in our lives? What is so important that life simply cannot go on without it? At first thought, family undoubtedly comes to mind. How could we ever go on if something happened to our children or spouses? And yet, I’m currently reading the book of Job. Job had it all and then lost it all. Everything. Possessions, livestock, his health, even his own children. Everything was gone. And yet, he still had the essentials, his faith and belief in God. You see, while everything on this Earth was taken from him, God remained. And despite his circumstances, Job never lost faith in a holy God. Despite his questions, despite his misfortune, it was God who sustained Job through the unfathomable loss he endured. And it was God who later restored Job’s fortunes and redeemed his life.  And what Job learned, and what I learned as well, is that there really is only one essential in this life: God. He’s all we really need to make it through each day, no matter what the day may bring. Because with God, I can face tomorrow, through good or bad, thick or thin, only God will always remain, unchanging and constant. And while a basketball uniform might be essential for a basketball game; in the game of life, I’m fairly sure God is the only uniform we will ever need.