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The Volleyball Organizer

The Volleyball Organizer

Hello and good day!

 June was on her second marriage. After twenty years with her first husband, he left her for a younger woman. She was single for five years before marrying the love of her life, Tom.

 Tom and June had been together 15 years and they lived a quiet, simple, happy life. They were empty nesters who enjoyed gardening and taking long walks, and they were enrolled in a cooking class together.

 But the real cornerstone of their life was involvement in their church. Tom was funny and talkative and had a lot of friends. June was shyer and more subdued and only had a couple of close companions. Even so, she took an active interest in every aspect of the congregation and did her best to foster harmony.

 One afternoon, after service, a teenage boy walked by, and June smelled marijuana on his clothes. She'd known this youngster and his family since the boy was just a toddler. She'd watched him grow up and she cared for him, even though they didn't talk much, and his mother wasn't one of her close friends.

 On a whim, she decided to follow him, and she eavesdropped on a conversation between him and a few other youngsters. The crux of the conversation was that each would go their own way after church.

 June felt this was a shame.It seemed to her that if these youngsters would spend more time socializing together, maybe the boy's clothes wouldn't reek of drugs.

 Back at home, June told Tom that she wished folks from church would spend more time together."What can we do?" asked Tom. "I have no idea. I'm telling you because you're the outgoing one. Do you have any ideas?" asked June. Tom rubbed his chin and thought but couldn't come up with anything.

 "When was the last time we all got together and had a great time, kids, adults, and everybody?" asked June. "Do you remember when we had a barbeque, and somebody brought their volleyball set? That was fun," said Tom.

 June remembered. It was several years earlier. Somebody had set up a nice volleyball court at a park. There was a good turnout and people played for hours. The game became competitive. Players played hard and talked trash in a funny way. When it started getting dark out, nobody wanted to go home, they were enjoying themselves so much.

 "I'd like to organize a volleyball game," said June. Tom nodded, not quite believing what he was hearing. June had wonderful qualities, but rallying people together had never been her strong suit.

 "I need your help," said June. Tom nodded again. He could see that he was being roped in, and that he had no choice but to go along. "I'm all yours," said Tom. That afternoon, June and Tom went to a sporting goods store and bought the nicest and most expensive volleyball kit available. They bought several balls and a pump as well.

 Back at the house, they brainstormed. How would they get the word out? Tom suggested working through several of the more popular members of the congregation. June agreed and she asked Tom to call the right people and do all the talking.

 Tom obliged and immediately started calling folks. He let people know the date, asked them to come, and also asked invitees to spread the word. On the big day, June, Tom, and a handy friend showed up at the park early to set up the court.

Once the court was set up, they waited. And waited. And waited. And waited. Nobody came. June was disappointed, but she was also galvanized.Now it was personal. They broke down the volleyball court and went home.

 June made Tom call all the same people again and invite them for the very next weekend. Next weekend, a handful of people showed up, mostly because Tom put the pressure on them. They played and had a lot of fun, even though there weren't enough players for a serious game.

It was good to simply be together, outside in the sun, exerting themselves, sweating, laughing, sometimes falling from clumsiness. As soon as they got back home, June begged Tom to make another round of calls, inviting people to the next game, the very next weekend.

 Tom loved his wife, and he complied, even though he was tired from the day's activities. The turnout was double the following weekend. One of the families brought a boombox and put on good music. Another brought chips. Another brought a case of water. There were enough people for a good game, and everybody had an excellent time. When the sun went down, nobody wanted to leave.

 Back at the house, Tom didn't need any prodding. He worked the phone, inviting people for the following weekend.

 At the next gathering, just about the entire congregation showed up. Those who played the week before told their friends, and their friends told friends, and everybody decided that going to volleyball was the cool thing to do.

 Big crowds gathered on the sidelines, eating chips, listening to music, and watching while the players played. When one team scored a point, there were loud cheers and applause and high fives. When somebody made a bad mistake, there were great boos and laughter.

 The congregation was having the best time.

 The teenager who smelled like marijuana in church was out on the court, playing, and enjoying himself.

 June sat in a folding chair on the sideline watching. Nobody knew that she was the original organizer and she preferred it that way. She never liked drawing attention to herself.

 Before June and Tom even made it home, somebody from church had already sent out a group message organizing the following week's game and there were dozens of immediate confirmations.

 The next week, one of the players brought a second volleyball net and more people brought food. The tradition continued on for years and the congregation became very strong and united.

 June never stepped foot on a volleyball court after that very first day when not enough people showed up. She never picked up the phone to call anybody. But her idea, and her insistence on seeing the idea carried out, kicked off something that affected hundreds of people and lasted for a very long time.

 I've seen this kind of thing happen over and over. A person with a good idea, and who insists on seeing the idea carried out, tends to attract people with the necessary skills to make the thing a reality.

 This is a very encouraging concept. A single person doesn't need to have all the required skills to execute on a plan. Sometimes, they don't need any of the skills.

 They just need a good idea and dogged persistence.

 Thank you so much for your time today.

 I hope that you have a truly blessed day!