by Rob Globke

    Every hockey player is different, having their own quirks and ways they like things to be. One likes Bauer while the other prefers CCM. One likes their shin pads over the tongue while another prefers to go tongue out. Some like black tape and others like white. The list could go on and on, but the point is clear: all hockey players are unique. We aren’t going to even start talking about goalies here….they are a whole different story and would require a separate post!!

    One way in which I was quite different while I played was the way I liked my sticks. I did not, I repeat, did not like new sticks. I was probably (no, definitely) in the minority in this category. In my experience, nine out of ten guys actually like new twigs and save their “fresh” ones for games. Not me. No sirree. I prefered my sticks to be nice and whippy. The more a stick was used the better it was for me. Where most guys would be switching out sticks regularly, I would usually take one stick and use it for everything. Game, practice, warmup, powerplay, penalty kill, up, down, and all around. I used a single stick until it would eventually give out. Then, I would cry for a little and start over again. One year I had a pretty good run and only used five sticks the entire length of a pro season. This could have been because I didn’t go in the corners much, but I’m chalking it up to prayer!!!

    The reason I’m thinking about my past stick habits is because I am reminded of the feeling which came over me when it BROKE. A feeling of loss and disappointment and sadness. There were times I could tell when things were close to falling apart and I remember doing everything I could to hold that stick together. I was more careful in my shot selection. I made sure not to slam it in frustration over a poor play or lack of ice time. I tried to stretch those twilight years the best I could. All because I didn’t want to face the reality of being incomplete.

    YET, no matter how hard I tried, they would inevitably shatter. Even in my best year, I lost five good pieces of carbon fiber. Far from perfect.

    Thinking about this makes me think about life away from the rink. I don’t know of any human being that has not experienced BROKENNESS in some way or another over the course of their life. The dictionary defines the word broken as, “having been fractured or damaged and no longer in one piece”. And that is what life can do to you, whether through your choices or the way things seem to be in general. We live in a broken world. It could be a relationship, an illness, a persistent sin, our work, or the things around us. We are all broken. And, if for some reason you have never had to experience this brokenness, I’m sure you know the feeling of being on the verge of breaking. The feeling of exhaustion trying to hold all the pieces of life together. Only hanging on by a thread.

    And much like any one of my broken hockey sticks, we often think that being broken means that we are no longer valuable. That we no longer have worth. We literally feel like we are incomplete. This is not a good place to be. It’s not a state where God wants us to be either which is why He provided a path to wholeness.

    Colossians 2:10a says, “ Christ you have been brought to fullness…” In other words, in Christ you have been made whole. This is amazing! Through faith in Jesus Christ, God has given us a way to be complete, not missing any pieces or lacking any parts. A way to return to wholeness that doesn’t depend on us trying to hold it all together...because we can’t. Before faith in Christ, we are in a broken relationship with God the Father. It is fractured. No good. But, in Christ we are restored. This return to wholeness not only brings us back into a full relationship with God, but it begins to shape and transform the other broken parts in our lives. Christ will make us completely whole from the inside out, and He doesn’t just stop with your heart. He works on making your entire life full and complete.

    So, the closing question I have is not whether or not you are broken because I believe deep down we all know we are. My question is this….

    Are you willing and ready to be made whole?

    John 5:14
    Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. (KJV)

    Matthew 9:22
    Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.

    Luke 8:48
    And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace. (KJV)

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