Stop Playing HockeyApril 12, 2017by Rob Globke
After seeing articles like the ones here & here & here, with many more easily searchable on the google machine, it is clear that “year round hockey” is becoming the norm and not the exception. This reality breaks my heart. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love when kids play hockey. But, it pains me seeing kids consumed 24/7/365 by a single activity. To see parents obsessed by the hope of future glory. To see families live in fear that if they don’t play constantly they will fall behind.
The research shows this trend of “year round hockey” is not good for anyone. Parents pour thousands of dollars for extra ice time and training. The kids are burning through the one body they have far too soon. Everyone is mentally fried trying to keep up with the pace and the expectations. The hockey community is gradually becoming a one trick pony when a jack of all trades is needed. We are slowly, cruelly being distracted in the wrong direction; chasing the proverbial carrot without taking the time to figure out if it’s something worth chasing.
Thinking through these realities in the game I love, brings to light some other truths in my life. The concept of year round hockey leads me to ponder my spiritual life and what I might learn from this phenomenon. And perhaps, a lesson for us all to learn. My thoughts lately seem to always land back on God’s Word: the Bible.
So let me explain (or try to at least)...
The Bible is 66 books all telling the same story. They are all very different, yet unified. Some are long and some are short, but all tell an important part of the story. Each book is full of different characters and subplots, yet they all point to One Person and one Central Event: Jesus Christ, His death, and His resurrection. The collection of 39 Old Testament books points forward to Easter, the 27 New Testament books spend most of their words looking back reminding its readers of what Christ has accomplished.
All 66 books are essential to our understanding of God and what He has done and is doing in the world. To get the full story, you need to read all the books. Of course, it’s good to go deep and bore in on a certain book during certain times. This can’t be done indefinitely. We can’t expect to spend all of our time in one or two books out of sixty six and think we have the story covered. It is sensible for us to also go wide in our reading and make sure to get a broad perspective of God’s story. To get the bigger picture. As Christians, we need to be both deep and wide readers. (Deep and wide, deep and wide, there’s a fountain flowing deep and wide….I know this doesn’t relate perfectly, but I couldn’t help but think of that song and I got distracted!!).
Yes, during the hockey season, go deep. Focus. Give all that you can to the sport that you love. But, when the season ends, I think it might be wise to take a step back and ask yourself, “is it time to shift gears?” I believe it’s good and wise for hockey players to play a variety of sports and participate in a variety of activities. It’s something we need to do more of in this day and age.
In the same way, it’s wise and good to read from all parts of the Bible. To not just open up to the books you like to read or the ones that may be “easier” to read. Instead, read “all of Scripture which is useful for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
So, as the hockey season soon closes, my encouragement to you is to work hard not to become a one trick pony on or off the ice.