Few trophies in sports hold as much prestige as the Stanley Cup. The sheer determination, skill, and teamwork needed to win it are awe-inspiring. As Christians, we can certainly appreciate and enjoy the excitement of athletic achievements. Sometimes as players we dream of someday making the NHL and winning the Stanley Cup...or as fans we get so passionate and consumed by the game and team we love...However, it's important to remember that no sports victory can come close to comparing to the eternal significance of our relationship with God.
Earthly Glory vs. Eternal Rewards: The Stanley Cup represents earthly glory and recognition, which are fleeting and perishable. 1 Corinthians 9:25 says, "Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever." As followers of Christ, our ultimate goal is to seek eternal rewards that come from faithfully serving God and living in accordance with His Word.
Idolizing Success: It's easy to get caught up in the thrill of a championship victory and idolize sports figures or teams. However, the Bible warns us against idolatry. Exodus 20:3 commands, "You shall have no other gods before me." Don't get us wrong, hockey is the BEST sport in the world and we can enjoy it...but when it becomes an idol, it distracts us from worshiping and prioritizing God in our lives.
Living for God's Glory: As Christians, our primary purpose is to glorify God in all that we do, including our pursuits and passions. Colossians 3:17 states, "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." Whether we're playing sports or in other aspects of life, our actions should align with God's values and bring honor to His name.
Pursuing Spiritual Victories: While winning a championship brings earthly glory, pursuing spiritual victories yields eternal rewards. 2 Timothy 4:7-8 beautifully illustrates this, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing."
As Christians, we can certainly enjoy hockey whether as a fan, player or both, we can even dream of some day winning the Stanley Cup! However, we must remember that our relationship with God surpasses any earthly pursuit in significance and eternal value. Let us strive to keep God at the center of our lives, seeking His glory above all else. Just as we train diligently in hockey or sports, let us also "train" in our faith, growing closer to God, building character through challenges, and pursuing spiritual victories above all else.
"Once I won that Stanley Cup and fulfilling all my dreams that I could ever think of then waking up a week later and realizing that's it...it didn't quite sit right at times...and now I understand that the hole you might search for can only be filled by God." - Jordan Staal