by Rob Globke
I’m old...well, at least getting old. :-) And being a bit older, I don’t play nearly as much hockey as I used to when it was my profession. Of course, I still play a little here and there with the other “old” guys, and I still get on the ice quite a bit to coach. But, it’s nothing like when I was a pro.
Recently, I was thinking about this reality of being on the ice less, and the more I thought about it I kept thinking about how much time I save by not having to get prepared to play. My thoughts about my past playing days revealed an undeniable truth....hockey preparation consumed many, many hours of my life. Not only did I need to prepare by putting on a plethora of equipment, but I also needed to prepare my mind and my body for the rigors of the game. Let's just look at some of areas I thought about and see if you share some of them.
- I thought about all the minutes I’ve spent lacing and tying my skates before practices, before games, and in between periods. The thought makes me want to invent a zipper skate!
- I thought about all the minutes I’ve spent preparing my stick. I can only imagine adding the hours devoted to cutting, sanding, taping, tinkering, and everything else just so everything was just right. Then I thought...perhaps I never was able to get it “just right” as evidenced by my stat line. :-)
- I thought about all the hours I’ve spent training. The time in the gym or on the track getting ready for the season doing many sprints, squats, jumps, and everything in between. When I think back on those days, I am quite thankful I don’t have to do that quite so much!
- I thought about the countless hours I’ve given to studying game tape, my team’s systems, or other teams tendencies so I’m ready for whoever we may play next.
- I thought about all the time before each and every game I’ve taken to prepare. Time spent stretching, warming up, getting my equipment ready (oh those skates again!), and in meetings before the puck drops.
- I thought about all the time spent driving and flying all over God’s creation to play the game I love. And this was before cell phones and clash of clans mind you. Then, I thought about all the time my mom and dad gave up to cart me around before I could actually cart myself around...thanks mom and dad! :-)
I thought about all of this preparation and all the time it consumed when added together. So many days, weeks, maybe even years spent in preparation to play the game of hockey. So much of my life was invested to be ready for the game I loved. Of course, this is not a bad thing. It’s absolutely good to prepare. It’s absolutely good to make the best use of the skills and talents God has given.
I soon begain to think about how much time I have spent in preparation for life in this world. It wasn't soon before I was humbled by the realization that my preparation for life didn’t match up when compared to the time spent preparing for hockey. This was a problem. This is an area where I fell short...and probably still do! However, God is gracious, abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.(Psalms 86:15) No matter how many times we put other things before Him, He does not turn away from us. He is patient and faithful to those who believe in His Son. For that, I am grateful.
This leads me to the main point for this post (finally!)......
How much time do you spend preparing for life in this world?
The bible says satan is “prowling around like a roaring lion looking to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). The bible says that the devil is “the ruler of the world” (John 12:31). The bible says this is where our battle is fought. Not against “flesh and blood, but against...the spiritual forces of evil” (Ephesians 6:12). While it's ok to spend time preparing for the various activities we are involved with, we must never forget to devote serious time to prepare our hearts and minds for the challenges we will face each and every day in this world.
When we, as hockey players, fail to prepare for games properly our play suffers. Maybe not the first or second time, but eventually our game will deteriorate. The same can be said in life. We may be able to “wing” it for a little bit. But, sooner or later, when our guard is down, we will face a challenge or a temptation. And the stakes for these challenges are more than just wins and losses, they are life and death. It would be a sad thing if we spent all our time preparing for everything else but the most important part of our time on earth.
So, the question remains: Are you taking the time to prepare for life in this world?
I will close with a challenge to you. It’s a simple one: Prioritize your time to prepare your heart and mind for the challenge which awaits you every single day. Prepare yourself.
“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.”