My family has gone nuts for hockey.
Until a few years ago, the only hockey I had watched with interest was the USA versus the Soviet Union in the 1980 Olympics. A close second was the movie about the same game.
Then my daughter married a hockey man.
Thomas works for the Nashville Predators. I keep thinking they are going to give him a stick one of these days and let him play but for now, he manages their digital media.
He predicted a few years ago I would become a hockey fan. I didn’t believe him, but today, as I write this we are in the middle of the Stanley Cup playoffs, and I am admitting to the world – I am a hockey fan. I’ve even started watching games that the Predators aren’t playing – while a baseball game is on another channel. Unreal.
I discovered along the way one of my favorite moments of a hockey game. It’s when our team is up by a goal or two with a couple of minutes left and the opponent pulls their goalie to add power to their offense for a final push to tie the game. We hockey “experts” call it, the “empty net.”
Sometimes it works and the other team ties the game or wins it. But many times, the team with the lead can get control of the puck and go down to the other defenseless net and score as the fans go crazy!
The remaining moments are the sweetest of all because you know you’ve won, yet the game keeps going as the clock winds down. All the fans are up standing, cheering, shouting, and celebrating the sure victory.
Sports analogies don’t always work but stay with me for this one. As followers of Jesus, we are living in that time between certain victory and the end while the clock winds down.
Seems to me our lives should be marked by celebration and confidence as we live out our remaining time. In First Thessalonians 5, Paul tells the church that we should live in the victory that’s already been won. Go read that chapter right now and see if you aren’t shouting by the time you get to verse 24 — “He who calls you is faithful; He will do it.” (CSB)
The game is won. The taste of victory is sweet. Jesus is Lord.
Walk in that truth today.
Mike Harland is the Director of Lifeway Worship. When he’s not directing 30+ employees, you’ll find him leading worship at various churches around the country, writing/arranging worship songs and/or, writing his next book. In his spare time, he loves playing basketball and spending time with his family. Mike can be found on Twitter @MikeHarlandLW and on facebook.com/Mike.Harland.37.