Jun 12, 2014

Paying the Price to Touch the Cup

I have NEVER touched the Stanley Cup; EVER! Although I have had multiple chances to do so, I have always respected the tradition that you don’t touch until you win it.

Many hockey players refuse to touch the Stanley cup during or after their careers. A lot of players believe touching the trophy before you win it is bad luck. I myself see it as just tradition, not “luck”.

However, history has already shown us that several people who held the Cup before winning it had no such issues and many went on to win the Cup MULTIPLE times!

Sufficient to say that at my age (I was born in 1958), I won’t win the Stanley Cup Finals and will never lift the Cup over my head at the end of a game as I skate around with the cup. So, there really isn’t any reason for me to not touch the Cup.

Although, now that I think about it...if I had the chance to “Spend a day with the Cup” I probably would. No, not to drink milk or eat Cheerios out of it…although placing my new grandchild in it might be kind of cool!

It’s only thirty five pounds, so weight wouldn’t be a factor to lifting it up; or touching it for that matter. It isn’t because I am concerned that my finders might leave prints on the shiny metal; the Cup has a fulltime staff whose job is to protect, keep polished, and transport the Cup all over the world.

Perhaps it has more to do with not only respecting the tradition but respecting those men who practiced, played, and fought hard over many months and then, after winning the final game of the playoffs, earned the right to hold up the Cup. 

Perhaps it has more to do with realizing it is not my Cup to lift. Too often people want to do something without paying the real price to get the prize; or at least touch it.

And that thought reminds me of two of Jesus’ disciples; James and John, who were always getting into ‘trouble’ when Jesus was teaching them.

In Mark 10:35-40 we read how James and John came to Jesus asking Him to “do for us whatever we ask.” And then they went on to ask for special places of honor next to Jesus.

Jesus said to them, “You have no idea what you’re asking. Are you capable of drinking the cup I drink, of being baptized in the baptism I’m about to be plunged into?"

They said; “Sure, why not?”

To which Jesus said, “Come to think of it, you will drink the cup I drink, and be baptized in my baptism. But as to awarding places of honor, that’s not my business. There are other arrangements for that.”

He was telling them that there was a process that they had to go through in order to get to the spot where they could drink the cup, let alone “lift the Cup up over their heads”. 

Too often people want to do something without paying the real price to get the prize; or at least touch it. They want to be a follower of Jesus without really being His disciple. No, you can’t earn your way to heaven; it’s a free gift (Ephesians 2:8-9) but there is a price to be paid.

As Jesus said:

“Whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’? Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace.  So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple”.” (Luke 14:27-38

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