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Practice, Practice, Practice - a short story by A.B.King

   Once upon a time there lived a little Christian boy named Jamie. He sat beside his Mum in the waiting area of the station with his chin resting in his hands. He had a problem. He had been performing poorly in the junior league basketball team. He knew his father would be displeased to find out but what could he do he thought to himself, he had tried everything that he could do but he still wasn’t no good at baseball. At least he was getting good grades so his Dad can’t be that mad at him.   Jamie’s Dad finally came through the terminal. On seeing Jamie’s Mum he dropped his bags and ran towards her with out stretched arms. Her heart melted even more and for a second there Jamie thought that his Mum would start crying.   Jamie’s Mum eyes buffed up, she held her hand over her mouth and then started running towards Jamie’s Dad with out stretched arms too. As the two of them collided you could feel the clean, pure love circulating in the air around them like an invisible but perceivable heavenly dust cloud.   Jamie’s Dad lifted his wife off her feet and he spurn her around and around as she giggled. She would always be his Queen and best buddy. Even while he was on the military base he had been texting her more than her regular friends.   After Jamie’s Dad put her down, he looked at Jamie and rushed to him saying, “Common On, big man give your Pops a hug.”   After they hugged, Jamie knew that it was only a matter of time before they went home and his Dad asked about his academic performance and then after that he would ask about how he’s doing in baseball. At least the good thing is that he would ask about academic performance first.Unfailingly, just as Jamie taught it would happen, when they got home after his father asked him about his test scores, his father asked him how his little league baseball was going.   Uh – Oh!, here it comes.   “I think I’m going to quit.”   “WHAT?”, the sound echoed all through the house.   Jamie’s head sunk as his eyes fell to the ground and stayed there. He held his two hands behind him. He looked like an innocent picture of humility.   Jamie’s Dad looked as his son and breathed in deeply. How could he stay mad at the flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone – his own son? A son he would die for.   Jamie expected his Dad to shout at him, but didn’t. He had disappointment in his eyes but he also had love in his eyes.   Jamie’s father told him that if he wants to be good at something, he should keep at it until he finally is.   Jamie tells his Dad that he’s not just talented enough like the other kids. He tells him that the star of the baseball team right now doesn’t even try. He doesn’t even come for practice and says that he doesn’t need practice because he’s already got talent. “He gets the best scores in the team, Daddy. Perhaps if I was half as talented as he is I would be good enough for the team, but I just not that talented Daddy”, Jamie told his father.   Jamie’s Dad looked at him and shook his head. He told him that nobody ever becomes good at anything without practice. No one ever becomes good at anything without shedding some sweat. It is not about talent, it is about skill. Talent is something you are born with to know which career choice is the direction God wants you to go in, but skill is developed. Skill is working on your talent to produce something extraordinary.   Jamie’s Dad told him that the kid is lying to him. He must be practicing somewhere even though he doesn’t show up at the team’s official practice sessions.   Jamie’s Dad told him that if he looked into it he would see that it was true.   Jamie believed his Dad. He had always believed his Dad.   Jamie changed his mind about quitting the team. He worked even much harder and he soon became a very valuable player to the team.   Later, Jamie found out something interesting about the boy who said he didn’t practice. He was the coach’s son. The only reason he didn’t come to practice was because his Mum made him go for piano lessons during the same time period that coincided with the time period of the official baseball team practice time. However, every other time him and his Dad the coach where in the house at the same time, his Dad took him to the backyard and made him Practice, Practice, Practice.
The End.

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