Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I Like My Odds by Janey Goude

Our eight-year-old son Jake asked to play every game at the amusement park. Over and over we said no. It seemed another game waited around every corner. He begged most for the basketball shoot. 

We’d just declined another request when I noticed a father and son each dribbling basketballs, and I had an idea.

“Do you want to play the basketball game, or do you want a basketball?”

“I want a basketball,” Jake replied without hesitation.

“Would you like me to ask that man if he’ll win one for you?”

Jake’s eyes opened wide as he shrugged his shoulders and shone a magnetic grin. Hand in hand, we approached the father and son.

“Excuse me, sir,” I said. “Did you win those basketballs?”

“Yes, ma’am,” he said, returning my smile.

“May I ask how you won them?”

Pointing to the hoop game, he said, “It’s five dollars for two shots. If you make one shot, you get one basketball. If you make both shots, you get two.”

“Would you be willing to win a ball for my son?” 

“I couldn’t do that. I wouldn’t want to lose your money.”

“How many balls did it take you to win those two?” I asked, sure I already knew the answer.

He looked at his wife self-consciously, smiled, looked at his feet then up at me. “Two,” he admitted, “I made the first two balls.”

“I like my odds,” I chuckled.

In short order, my son was bouncing a new basketball. Watching him, James 4:2 came to mind: “You do not have, because you do not ask God.” 

Jake could’ve tried to win the basketball on his own, and he probably would’ve succeeded - after multiple five dollar tries. Instead, we asked someone with more skill.

So often I try to accomplish tasks in my own strength. I may eventually get the job done, wasting precious resources in the process. Other times I remember the odds and ask God for help.

Janey Goude and her husband of twenty-one years homeschool their four children, ranging from elementary school to high school. She enjoys exploring God’s open doors in writing, editing, and collaboration. Read her blog at Community Advance.

And check out our latest book review: Kisses for Kate, reviewed by Erin Dorr.


  1. How fun! What a great story and lesson!

    1. Jay,
      It was a fun experience while it was happening and kept me smiling the whole time I was writing about it. I'm glad you enjoyed the read!
      Thanks for stopping by.

    2. Love the story and the meaning. Sweet photo of Jake! I well remember meeting him at IHOP a few years ago. Thanks for sharing.

    3. Thanks for your kind comment. Jake still remembers meeting you! We saw you out recently and he asked if that you were the lady who we met at IHOP. You made an impact!

  2. I like your story! Good odds and one happy kid. Nice reminder to ask the One who can.

    1. Janice,
      It's great when kids point us back to what's important! Glad you enjoyed the story. Thanks for taking time out to leave a comment.

  3. Smart of you to find out what it was that he really wanted and then go to the right source for it. Great parallel, Janey! -Darcy

    1. Darcy,
      Thanks for the sweet compliment. Every now and then I surprise myself :-) Can't take credit for it usual it was an inspired moment when I just happened to have my ears tuned to the right Voice! Appreciate you taking time out of your tiny-tots filled days to read and share!

  4. That's a GRAND story, Janey! Thanks for sharing it.
    Love you, Kiddo! Jan

    1. Jan,
      That means a LOT coming from you! Love and appreciate you!

  5. I liked your devotion Janey.

    1. I appreciate you stopping by and taking time to comment. Thanks!

  6. Janey,

    Great title for the piece! And, it brought to mind the scripture Matthew 19:26 -“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."


    Linda Joyce

  7. Linda Joyce,
    So glad to see you here! Thanks for the compliment - I'm humbled. Love that scripture! Thanks for sharing.

  8. That is an awesome story....and a good way to steep that scripture in my mind!! Love you bunches!!

    1. Julie,
      Thanks for your encouragement! Glad it struck a chord for you.
      Love you, too!


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