Mar 23, 2011

Hockey, Wood, Hay, and Stubble

After five months of playing two games a week, my hockey season came to an end. The last game started kind of slow; as a team we didn’t seem to be working together. Finally, a breakaway led to a goal and we were back on the same page. My first goal came as I was able to steal the puck away from a forward, skate past five players, fake a wrap-around, and instead backhand the puck past the pads of an unsuspecting goalie for a goal. I went on to score another goal and three assists; not a bad way to end the season.

The Minnesota High School Hockey Tournaments are finished; all there is left to do is watch the Stanley Cup Playoffs (and my beloved Buckeyes in the NCAA Basketball Final Four). If I hadn’t torn my rotor cuff years ago, I would be pulling out the cleats and oiling up the glove to play ball for the spring and summer months. 

Instead, my hockey equipment will be washed, hung to dry, and then packed away along with my sticks and jerseys until next season; or until I am able to find another game between now and November. I thank God that after (almost) fifty three years of life, I have been able to play one more season; praise be to God.

The thing is, after a person has a great game, no matter what sport they play, they are only as good as the next game or season. I’ve heard coaches, after winning the Super Bowl, talk about immediately going to the books to get ready for next season; the next Super Bowl. They’ve learned that they won’t be judged on the last win they have. There is an overarching theme among athletes that it takes more to prove their success.  

The same is true for our “real” lives as well. God won’t ask to see our degrees, or championship rings, or ask us how much we earned or how many goals we scored. God uses a different method to judge us; His Son Jesus Christ.

The Bible says; “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.“(See 1 Corinthians 3:9-15)

Jesus will judge us; not our achievements: “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats." (Matthew 25: 31-32)

"Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:11-15)

Don’t put your stock in what you accomplished here on the earth; put your faith in Jesus Christ and His redemption on the cross for your sins and mine.

How does the Bible say that we are to do this? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” (Romans 10:8b-13).

After five months of playing two games a week, my hockey season came to an end. Some day; I don’t know when, my life will come also to an end. I’m putting all of my hope for eternity on Jesus Christ; How about you?

"Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved."

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