The Youth In My Family Now Have The Edge

The youth are taking over – at least it’s true in my family. Every year when my family gets together for Christmas we rent some ice and have a game of hockey.

We’ve been doing it for a long time now. When we started, I didn’t have to play very hard to show up the young guys.

It’s different now; each year my son and the nephews have gotten bigger, faster, stronger.

I still look forward to our little get-together but it takes a lot more out of me to keep up with them.

I guess that’s why there is so much focus on youth. They have all the potential; they are so agile; they have such great skill.

I see it in junior hockey, and especially in the annual world junior hockey tournament that’s about to start. It showcases the best young hockey talent in the world and everyone is playing for their country.

The speed at which these kids skate, and the moves they make – with and without the puck – is incredible.

That is why even the NHL is on a youth movement right now. To play in the NHL these days you have to be able to keep up with, or be better than, the 19 and 20 year olds.

Hockey highlight programs on TV show replay footage of teenagers in the NHL making incredible plays almost every night.

The youth really are taking over.

On the downside, the old guys like me are losing ground each year. We are not as fast as we once were; our hands are not what they once were.

Maybe more than all that is we don’t have the stamina or the energy we once had. I get winded quickly. I give a second thought to back-checking when the other team steals the puck.

In the friendly game we had this Christmas, I found it harder to keep the puck on my stick. Even the youngest of nephews was able to check the puck off me. I’d make a rush up the ice and that was about it for the next couple of minutes.

I remember when I was younger I could play all day and never tire. I hated having to go to the bench. I only went to give others a chance to play; I sure didn’t need the rest!

Now I take short shifts and actually enjoy my time when I’m on the bench, catching my breath. … Although with my past heart issues, I will often pace behind the bench to bring my heart rate down slowly.

Don’t get me wrong, I can still keep up, but they are starting to take over. There’s more of them and they are more dominant now.

I guess I should be sad to see the changing of the guard, knowing that it’s time to step aside for the youth movement in our family.

But you know, you also can’t help but see yourself in family. When I see my son or one of my nephews skate up the ice, I only have pride.

Here’s the thing: The more we start to age, the more we notice how the youth are taking over. But when it comes to spiritual things, we should allow the ancient one, the God of Abraham and Isaac to take over. That is the one area where youth don’t run the show. Let Christ take over your life. Here’s wishing you a very Merry Christmas.

That’s Life!

Paul

Question: What needs to move over in your life? Leave your comments below.

Why Do Things Have to Change?

In some ways, things change, and in other ways, they remain the same.  At our prayer retreat this year, a ball hockey game was organized and to play we were requested to show up to the tennis courts at 2 pm.  Everyone heard the announcement; anyone could come.

I hummed and hawed a bit, mostly because I had forgotten my knee brace (usually essential equipment for me).  I convinced myself I could take it easy and not run a lot (pretty much hang out in front of the other team’s net and wait for the ball).

ballhockey-goal

Really, though, there was no decision.  You see, when I hear the word “hockey”, somewhere inside my brain an automatic switch gets turned on and I can’t really help myself.  And, of course, I always have my sticks in the car ready to go!

Not so for many of the guys – they had to use the sticks available from the resort.  I guess the people who normally stay at Deerhurst Resort shoot right because all the sticks were right-handed … total frustration for the guys who were left-handed.

I noticed something when I got to the game.  I was in a different category than everyone else.  There was a bit of an age gap.  I was born the year Elvis Presley released his first hit song, “Heartbreak Hotel”, and none of the others playing were born till after the Beatles broke up!

When I first started as a pastor, I had all kinds of buddies in ministry and we would dominate when we got together.  Back then, the old guys wouldn’t even consider trying to compete with us.  They just smiled as if to say, “You’ll get old like us one day”.

I remember being at our National Meetings, one year into ministry.  There was about 20 of us guys in our first 5 years of being pastors.  We decided to take one afternoon and hit the water park at West Edmonton Mall.

We took over the place – we were loud and created a ruckus.  The lifeguards couldn’t control us; they were yelling at us not to run or climb up the side of the pool, or get too close to the turbine that drove the wave pool.  We just laughed and kept having fun.

That was a long time ago …  “Where were those buddies now?”, I wondered.  Then they announced we were going to play “old guys” versus “young guys” and I thought, “What? I have to take them all on myself?!”

Apparently, now you only have to be 35 to be an old guy (I was thankful).  And things do change: we “old guys” hammered the young guys; they barely got a goal on us (they must have been embarrassed).

But then, some things stay the same: I still answered the call to play when the invitation was made.

Here’s the thing: God desires for us to change and grow.  He never wants me to stop growing in my understanding of Him, or in my trust of Him, or in my service to Him.  God always calls me to more, to a deeper, richer, fuller relationship with Him.  But as I continue to change, I can be confident that He remains the same.  The target isn’t moving.  It is always clear, always in reach, always right in front of me: become more like Christ (He’s “the same yesterday, today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8).

Until Next Time!

Pastor Paul

Question: What do you do to ensure you keep growing?  Leave your comment below.