It i time for a little Friendly Family Feud!
OK, brace yourself for a little in-fighting in the Page clan. You see, being from Canada, we take our hockey seriously, and as the Stanley Cup finals start up, it is time for me to go toe-to-toe with my oldest brother Steven. He is a fan of the Vancouver Canucks (which I can accept as he and his wife, Julie, lived in VanTown for several years). And I am a life-long Boston Bruins fan.
Why? you ask! Well, here is the sob-story for poor little brother, Chris. You see, as the youngest of 3 boys, I was always the recipient of hand-me-downs from my older brothers. My jeans had patched knees, my sports shirts were all supporting their favorite teams, and my ability to exaggerate the “facts” of my youth has grown over the years,I know that I had lots of new clothes purchased for me, but I’m looking for some sympathy here – woe is me in my worn out clothes.
Then, magically and amazingly, at the age of about 3 or 4, on a crisp, cool, November afternoon, my mother, brought home a BRAND NEW winter coat and it was for me! (OK, I actually don’t know the exact day, let alone the weather on the day – give me a little creative license OK!) and guess what was on the coat! You got it, a small Boston Bruins emblem in the upper front left. Well I loved that coat because it was ALL MINE, and as a result, now 30something years later, I still pledge a strong hockey allegiance to the Bruins. I don’t think I could name any of the players when I first received that coat, but it started an appreciation that grew and grew into a full-fledged, permanent citizenship in Bruins Nation.
And now these 2 teams face off against each other, and my brother and I do, too. Canucks are favored, so we will see how it all works out. But I am excited to have my favorite team playing for a chance at the upset and hopefully raising of the Stanley Cup for the first time in 39 years. (Vancouver has not one at all in their 40 year history) so a drought will soon end.
And in the spirit of this blog about Christian Athletes, let me share a couple of articles that I have found:
First, with my beloved Bruins and their Goaltender Tim Thomas. His is not the typical star story. He played through minor leagues in North America and spent some time in Europe, too. He did not become a regular player until the age of 31, when most careers are starting to wind down. Now he is 4 wins away from the grandest of hockey prizes. So I was glad to read this blog
from Christian Chronicle
which talks about him and his love for the Lord. His is a story of persistence. The best way I know to work through hardship, and challenges is to lean on the strength of the Lord. According to the pastor of the church he attends, that relationship with God is there to draw on, and hopefully (for all of us Bruins fans) that perseverance will pay off in the ultimate hockey prize – the Stanley Cup, but at the end of the day, the real “Ultimate Prize” is to have a relationship with God.
And on the other side of the finals, we have a guy that is going to be hard to cheer against. His name is Dan Hamhuis. Read his story in his own words in this article
from Sharing the Victory magazine
. His story resonates with me. I work in children’s ministry and my heart longs to reach out to kids who are like Hamhuis. (and like me). Kids who grow up in church, and don’t mind it, but don’t have a relationship of their own with Jesus. Without a foundation of Christ to build on, trials and temptations that come along can easily ensnare us. It is refreshing to read this story from Hamhuis (even if it is a few years old) and to read the important role Jesus plays in his life. While I want the Bruins to win the cup, it will not be sad to see him reach this pinnacle, either.
Hockey Ministries International is an organization that does a lot of different things to make Christ known in the hockey world. They have camps for young players, that feature Christian players and coaches, they have a chaplain ministry to NHL teams and more. Check them out!
So enjoy the Stanley Cup Finals, and may the best team win, and may Steve and I enjoy our friendly rivalry over the next couple of weeks.
(you can meet my brother Steve and his wife Julie, and read about all that they have going on at their blog “Plaid Eggnog