Every now and then you get a unique opportunity in life. I am not referring to a lottery win, that would be nice, but I am talking about other opportunities. Several years ago, such an opportunity landed in my lap. I spent six months trying to push it away. After no success at trying to “bless” someone else with this opportunity I took it on with a great deal of trepidation and resignation, and an enormous amount of support. This past weekend, as with many other times in the past, I am glad I said “Yes” to that request. You see, my daughters archery team was in need of a coach and I was not an archer, but I was a somewhat willing soul. I am beyond blessed as a result of having said “Yes” to those kids, and that blessing continues, even today.
Finding My “Yes”
Now you have to understand, they needed a coach, I did not need a new task. I had never picked up a bow or an arrow, and didn’t know a thing about archery. In addition, I didn’t have the time, I was in the middle of a PhD program, working full time and parenting. Who has time to learn a new hobby and take on teaching others about something they themselves know little about? Not me! But you see, sometimes the greatest of blessings come disguised as what seems like insurmountable tasks. I learned how to shoot a bow, took on the role and began to build and rebuild a program. I grew a great deal. I am no longer that coach, I have handed those reigns over to others. They are very talented and committed men and they do such a better job than I ever did. I loved those kids, and worked hard, but I didn’t know the technical stuff the present coaches know. But I did know how to step up when stepping away would have been easier, and I did know how to ask for help, and ask I did. I was always thankful for the support and friendship I received over and over again. Along the way, I also learned how to find arrows. That sounds easy, but it sure is not, you would be amazed at how well those things fly and how hard they are to find. I was often not successful at finding arrows, but I was successful at supporting kids while we looked for them. I think in the end we found so much more than arrows. We found life changing things along the way.
Sometimes in our life we simply have to say, “Yes, I will help.” I spent this past weekend in an archery event with individuals from over 14 states. But the greatest thrill for me was all of the friendships. Because of life and COVID I have not seen many of these people of late. For some it had been months, for others almost a year, but it felt so very good to be in the presence of friends. I spent years helping with archery and learning from anyone who would teach me. And I can shoot, I don’t much, but I can. But you know what I learned the most? Sometimes in life, often in life, our rewards far out measure our investments. Archery was that for me, and this weekend I was able to spend time investing in others again through the vehicle archery provided me. It will be a long time before I forget some of those conversations, laughs and hugs. Great friendships were renewed and others newly formed. I am blessed by these opportunities; opportunities I did not see coming and frankly tried very hard to get away from.
I am so very thankful for this eclectic group of friends I have found on the range. You know, you never know what you might find on an archery range. If you get a chance to explore one, check it out. I would bet you will find laughter, joy, friendships, growth, work (there is plenty of that) and maybe even a pink skunk – you never know when you might find a pink skunk (my photo is of one for this edition). Whatever you do, chose “Yes” when you can. Take a chance on yourself and others and stretch outside of your comfort zone, you never know what you might find. Every now and then we have to get out and be the one who says “Yes, I will help.” I hope like me you find your return is exponentially above the efforts your “Yes” took from you. I will ever be thankful for the gift of these incredible friendships, it was certainly worth my “Yes” way back when. And every now and then, like this weekend, I get the privilege of saying “Yes” again. In return for my efforts I was gifted by the presence of incredible people. Say “Yes, I can help” and see where it takes you. Oh, and go explore and archery range – it is a beautiful thing. Be blessed my friends – and thank you for spending time with me today.