Church, Hockey, and Getting in Trouble…

The other day Kevin Lowe, President of the Edmonton Oilers, unleashed a maelstrom of protest when he suggested that he really likes paying fans a bit more than the ones who cheer from home.

Truth is, everyone pays for hockey somehow when cities make way and pay the bills for arenas to be built.  But, as noted, we don’t seem to mind when our team is winning.

What about church?

Church: Its about every follower of Jesus being a participating part of the the body of Christ.

Hockey:  Well for most of us, it really does come down to being one of two kinds of fans:  the kind that watches from home or the kind that pays the bills by showing up at the arena.  And here’s the thing:  both are just watching.

Church isn’t a spectator event.

Its a life together; people assembled as the Body of Christ.  People connected to each other.  People with a new perspective of ownership with the others.

4Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, 5so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.  Romans 12:4-5 (NLT)

Sometimes I feel like a Canuck.

Sometimes I think like a member of Jesus’ church.

I see the others I’m gathered with and I think,

“We’ve been gathered by Jesus.  We belong to each other and what we are doing together matters.”

Note to church leaders:  We’ve got to help our churches out here by helping them see and celebrate the win!

.3 seconds on the clock and the puck in the back of the net

Ok, it was breathtaking!  When Detroit’s Zetterberg shouldered his way from the boards to the front of the net to zip one in past Luongo with .3 seconds on the clock in overtime, it was beautiful.  Yes I’m a Canucks fan, but this time we didn’t pull off the come-from-behind-win.  It was the second time in days that I found myself painfully admiring a winning goal in the closing seconds.  Norway defeated Canada in sledge hockey with an arcing shot from Eskel Hagan with just 3.6 seconds on the clock.  With our thoughts headed towards overtime and the possibilities for the next period, it was a shocker!

And therein is the leadership lesson for me.  While there is still time on the clock, there is still “a game” to be won or lost.  The minutes of our lives count and while we still have time, living for the glory of God still matters.  When we are tied or behind by one, urgency, passion, pursuit of Jesus Christ and His Kingdom must be nurtured.  When there is time on the clock there is still time to shape the story.  No one else will do this for me.

No one else will seek strength of character formed through a persistent gaze at Jesus and His Gospel for me.  No one else will prioritize my life, days, and hours with Christ for me.  No one else will put in the behind the scenes effort and learning for me.  No one else will say “no” or “yes” for me.  No one else will push through the inertia to engage in the most rewarding but hard ways of Kingdom living for me.  I regularly pray with the Psalmist, “Lord, teach us to number our days aright, that we might gain a heart of wisdom.”  (Psalm 90:12)

These guys on the ice push through difficulty and pain to the last second for a number of reasons.  But what vision is compelling, shaping, and energizing me?  You?