By David Booth
Making it to the NHL has been one of the greatest blessing and accomplishments of my life. One of the things I am most thankful for is what I have learned through playing at the highest level. If you were to look at my NHL career, you would have to conclude that the most recognizable event was the concussion I sustained in 2009. No one brings up the games we won, the goals I scored, or specifics about the points I received. If anyone asks me about my career today, it will almost certainly be about my concussion. It has been labelled as a defining point in my career, and perhaps has also been a major defining moment in my life.
I think the greatest personal growth happens when we face trials and we struggle. It is often through our struggles that we realize we don't have all the answers to life. It is pain that exposes our superficial source of strength and causes us to start asking deeper questions in life. We learn most during refining processes; although they are inevitable, we never look forward to them.
The career of a professional athlete puts almost anything you could want at your fingertips. It offers endless pursuits and opportunities. But in a moment, during what seemed like a typical game day in Florida, I was hit and left completely unconscious. What followed was a very tough road.
When you are an active person, halting everything to recover at home for 30 days feels boring and wasteful. Furthermore, I sensed that my life and career would never be the same after this incident. The game that had given me happiness, financial stability and meaning, had been taken away from me. This is why the Bible tells us to find our worth in God and nothing else, because all else is fleeting. At that point in my life, I had to determine where my self-worth actually rested.
One passage that helped me then, and still does today, is 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me… For when I am weak, then he is strong.”
Following that injury, I was the weakest I had been since the moment I started skating. We don't take pride in our weakness. We take pride in being better than others. However, I now can boast knowing that God’s perfect plan played out in my life. I had to rely on Him for my emotional and physical strength. He was and is my source of joy. My value is based on His Word, not on the world’s idea of worth. My joy isn't found in my accomplishments, but on what Christ accomplished on the cross.