Mar 19, 2015


Thoughts from Saturday, March 7th...

mel-uh n-kol-ee:  a gloomy state of mind, especially when habitual or prolonged; depression.
I’m feeling rather sad today. Almost lost as I step out of my warm bed and face the reality that today may very well be my last outdoor hockey game of the season. Today the temperatures are supposed to be mid to upper thirties followed by a week of mid-forty to fifty degrees. Alas, my outdoor season is over!
Actually, my heart is very full of gratitude that I was able to play another season because I will be fifty seven years old this year and I don’t know how many more times I will have on the ice.
Today I am very grateful to have another (of many) second chances to play a game that has brought me so much joy over the past forty eight years. Grateful because I am aware of what this season has meant to me as many hockey players have left this young man’s game due to an injury in the prime of their youth.
Starting in July, I had worked so hard to come back from my injury last season that required surgery to repair the torn labrum in my left shoulder. Many hours were given over a four month time period getting back in shape to be able to handle three periods of hockey.
After seven months of doing absolutely nothing after my injury and subsequent surgery, I spent hours three times a week in the evening, preparing by lifting weights to get muscle mass back and walking on an elliptical machine to get my lungs up to par. 
Today I am very grateful that I was able to play outdoors in crisp Minnesota weather that had game time lows of minus 26 degrees (wind chill) as we added another layer of clothing and donned our face masks. A couple of the games I had to remove my face shield from my helmet because it kept frosting over as icicles formed on our faces and snot froze as it ran down from our noses!
I am only melancholy because it will soon be gone and I miss it already as I realize that something will be leaving my life for awhile and tomorrow, my outdoor season will be over, until next winter. Of course I still do have indoor ice!
Jesus’ disciples were also melancholy when He announced that He was leaving. He had spent three years preparing them for this day and yet they were still melancholy because they thought that their time, their season with Jesus was going to be over tomorrow because He was going to the cross to give His life to pay for our sins.
To address their sadness, Jesus said;
Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:1-3)
Yes He was leaving tomorrow, but He would be back again very soon! This wasn’t the end, but rather the start of a new season for the disciples. New opportunities were just beyond the departure of Jesus as fifty days later they sat in an upper room awaiting further instructions (See Acts chapter Two).
Much more awaits us all as new seasons come and go. Instead of being melancholy, we need to be grateful for all that we were able to do and see.
So today, grateful for one more game of this outdoor season, I will lace up the skates, squeeze the stick, pull the trigger, and light up the lamp. And then go home as I await the news of the impending return of winter eight months from now. Unless, of course Jesus should choose to come back first!

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