The summer is knocking at the door and for many this means the hockey gear is headed for long term storage. Perhaps, only seeing the light of day for a week or two at hockey camp. At this time of year as we zip up our bag for the last time, there is a sense that we are also zipping closed the previous season; storing away the hurts, disappointments, and struggles in the basement of our heart.
In many ways, this is a good thing. Parents and players are ready for a break, a change of scenery. Untold families who spent countless hours in a cold rink ready to move on to new activities and new experiences. Preferably outside in the sunshine no doubt. We just want to be DONE and move on. Of course, we’ll hold on to some memories. We’ll cling to that one goal, the big win, or tournament where everyone had so much fun.
But unquestionably, there will be memories (perhaps many) we hope to never remember. The injury, the time on the bench, the problems with the coach, the problems with other parents & families, the financial struggles, and so much more. These are the things we want to zip up and let mold grow on. These are the things which make us question our sanity. These are the things which slowly eat away at our love for the game.
So we pack up and store away and live in the tension of happiness that it’s over and dread that it might start again in a few months. In the midst of the physical & emotional packing, we still know deep down we can’t hide away everything. We’re still left with so many questions and thoughts…
- After a year like that, will I be good enough to get on another team next year?
- How can I go one more season spending so much time trying to survive?
- Will I have the energy to keep waking up early and staying up late driving my kids from rink to rink?
- Where will we get the money?
- Is there ever going to be a coach who is caring and honorable?
- What if the talk in the locker room is worse than last year?
- Can I make it through another season of rifts between parents and political maneuvering?
All of this and more make us wonder one overarching question: “Will I be able to make it another year?”
My response is NO. You can’t. Left to your own power and will, you won’t make it another season. But, thankfully, God does not leave us alone to try and manage things by ourselves. He doesn’t abandon us. He doesn’t forget about us. God never calls us to try and do it on our own.
Instead, God reminds us that as long as we hitch our wagon to Him….
- we know that all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)
- we are content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when we are weak, then we’re strong. (2 Corinthians 9:10)
- we are not afraid because He is an ever present help in times of trouble. (Psalm 46)
- we can cast cast off our anxieties, because He cares for us. (1 Peter 5:7)
What an amazing comfort and hope we have in a God who can do more than all we ask or imagine! To close I will leave you with a few more verses from the Psalms which hopefully will encourage you as you enter the summer months.
Cast your burden on the Lord,
and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
the righteous to be moved.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
On the day I called, you answered me;
my strength of soul you increased.
I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
And those who know your name put their trust in you,
for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.