I leapt from the couch on a couple occasions as the Leaf’s lead grew bigger and bigger. (Just how cold is the heart of the Leaf’s owner anyways? Crack a smile, dude!) Visions of victory were dancing in my head. Sorry, but no sugar plums – I don’t even know what those are.
What a game. What a series. What a huge, gritty, series comeback.
And than, the wheels fell off. Ka-pooie. Stop. I guess I’ve become a bit of a hard-hearted cynic when it comes to teams that dress in blue and white and play in TO. The past few years I honestly didn’t even care or pay attention a whole lot. But the past couple weeks they’ve been wooing me back. Now, there I was, pleasantly surprised they were even here for game 7. I sort of expected them to eek out a win in game 5 to make the series 3-2 and give blue-bleeding fans some hope, and than get totally dismantled in game 6. It didn’t happen.
They were crueler. Much, much crueler.
Now, here’s the deal. I’m not the most competitive man you’ll ever meet (I hope). Not the most placid, but I don’t typically get the biggest bee in my bonnet either. I don’t have that extra git’er done at all costs gear that some guys have. Maybe I’m just a bit lazy. Nevertheless, I went to bed (a little bit) worked up. I woke up in the middle of the night, and my mind was still reeling. 4-1 lead, gone, forever. Ka-pooie.
Now, I’m not about to go hating on hockey, sports, or whatever else you love. I believe we’re created to be passionate, to enjoy life, to imagine, dream, laugh and cry…but I’ve got some questions.
What’s wrong with me?
A hockey team’s season ends and my emotions are more stirred than hearing the horrific story of 2 ladies held hostage for a decade, abused, raped and who knows what else?
I hear of a man who is kidnapped while trying to sell his pickup truck, and I don’t even think of praying for him and his family until xxxx days later?
I marvel over a man’s manly grit when he can take a slapshot straight to the forehead and skate off the ice 30 seconds later, and than I gloss over the words of a man shipwrecked, stoned, beaten, battered and wreaked so that the world could see Christ’s beauty?
Could your and my joy actually hinge on the outcome of a sporting event when we were made for so much more?
Trust me, if you hang your life’s identity, value, joy & worth on the Leaf’s performance it’ll be a crummy deal. Grown men needn’t be on the verge of tears because “their team” disappointed them. Sports can be great. But there’s so much more to life. I like what Augustine said:
you have made us for yourself,
and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you:
That is the world we’re living in. Millions of restless people searching for something to fill that void. A void that Lord Stanley’s Mug will never, ever satisfy. C.S Lewis had this to say:
“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
So the Leafs? They’ll let you down (again and again, I’m sure). Enjoy your sports, enjoy your life. Have some fun, live with passion. But never forget that you were made for another world.
We can stop our search for meaning. Our meaning is found in a person.
Jesus loves you. It’s true.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matt 11:28 ESV