Mar 31, 2016

Go Forward

Ice hockey isn’t a complicated game. The ultimate goal on offense is to score a goal. On defense it is to stop the other team from scoring and take the puck away from them so that you can score more goals. It’s not complicated.

Simply put; to score you must go forward towards the opponent’s net.

There are no weird complicated rules like they have in baseball such as:
"An INFIELD FLY is a fair fly ball (not including a line drive nor an attempted bunt) which can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort, when first and second, or first, second and third bases are occupied, before two are out."

“Each runner including the batter-runner may, without liability to be put out, advance three bases if a fielder deliberately touches a fair ball with his cap, mask or any part or any part of his uniform detached from its proper place on his person.”

Or like they have in football such as:
“Teams can technically elect to play by “make it, take it” rules, because when a touchdown is scored, it is the option of the team that was scored against whether or not to receive the ball or kick it back to the other team.”

“If a team punts the ball away to an opponent and either half expires after the snap, the receiving team has the right to attempt a field goal from the spot that the punt returner calls for and secures a fair catch.”

But there are some rules that are similar. Both football and hockey have rules dealing with being offside.
In ice hockey, if a player on the attacking team enters the offensive zone before the puck crosses the blue line, he is offside (unless the puck is sent or carried there by a defending player). When an offside violation occurs, a linesman will stop play.

So, if your the goal is to go forward towards the opponent’s net and you don’t want to stop play, then you must be careful to not be offside.

Another way to be offside is to be in the offensive zone and have a teammate bring the puck out towards center ice - also known as the neutral zone; thus creating a situation in which he can’t bring the puck back into the offensive zone UNTIL you (and the rest of your teammates) are back in the neutral zone.

So, what frustrates me is when I have crossed the into the offensive zone (legally) and am waiting by the net for the pass and another teammate of mine, Bob (not his real name), brings the puck out of the offensive zone and back across the blue lines to the neutral zone, thus causing me to be offside!

Why, you may be asking, did Bob do this? Because Bob wanted to reset up the play at center ice! And suddenly, without warning, I and my other teammates are offside simply because Bob decided to go backwards to the neutral zone.
Hey Bob, it’s really not a complicated game; go forward towards the opponent’s net and then score. go forward, not backwards!
Last year during a game, Bob did it so many times that I actually benched myself so that I could settle myself down because I was frustrated with him.

On a side note, this gave me a tremendous opportunity to talk to another teammate about how I as a Christian should act-when he asked me why I took myself out of the game…

In the Bible we see several examples of people who were supposed to go forward but instead went to the neutral zone and stood still.

In Exodus 14 we find the nation of Israel standing at the shores of the Red Sea with Pharaoh’s army coming in hot pursuit. They were afraid and Moses (the great leader that he was) told them to stand still. In other words; go to the neutral zone.
But they had a job to do. They had marching orders. They were on a mission. They had a goal (or were supposed to score a goal) so the Lord tells Moses:

 “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward.” (Exodus 14:13-15).

In 1 Samuel 17, we find the nation of Israel standing at a valley between two mountains with their enemy, the Philistines, on the other side. Every day, for forty days, Goliath, the biggest Philistine, drew near and presented himself morning and evening, challenging Israel to fight him.

To do so, they would need to GO FORWARD. Instead, Israel stood in the neutral zone and did nothing.

But they had a job to do. They had marching orders. They were on a mission. They had a goal (or were supposed to score a goal) so young David tells his brothers: “Is there not a cause?” (v.29) and RUNS toward the army to meet the Philistine (v.48) and scores a goal (defeats Goliath) and Israel was victorious!

So where are the areas that you keeping holding back when you know that you are supposed to GO FORWARD? Where are the areas that you are standing or sitting in the neutral zone instead of heading towards the open net?

Why are you waiting? Why are you holding back?

Jesus, our “Head Coach” longs for you to call out to Him today. Today is the day to listen to what He wants you to do and then GO FORWARD.

He is waiting for you to respond to His mercy and grace that has already been extended to you through Jesus Christ. And you can; today. And it can make all the difference in the world as you look for hope in your present world. Let Him be your “Head Coach” as you receive Him as Savior and Lord.

Need further help? Someone is waiting to talk with you. Call either:

1-888-NEED HIM or 1-877-2GRAHAM (1-877-247-2426).

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