In the 1990’s there was a very popular TV show called “Home Improvement”. It starred Tim Allen as a handyman and TV show host who would try to use his skills to do a project, either a repair or a build. And almost every time, the project would go awry and often lead to a spectacular fail. And the more effort he would put into fixing the problem, the worse it seemed to get. And we would learn quickly that this same problem presented itself in life outside his TV show. When he would face problems in his marriage, parenting , friendships, planning, or many other areas of life, it would also not go as planned and would often lead to more turmoil.
Dan Ellis, newly acquired goaltender for the Florida Panthers talked about this truth happening in his life too. Check out the article from Chad Bonham at Inspiring Athletes. Ellis talks about life spinning out of his control and how he, in a human reaction we can all relate to, would try to take control and fix the situation. And the end result would be a reminder that he was not in control at all and had to lean on his faith in God to work out the best solution – and often God’s solution was better than seemed possible in the midst of the problem. He sums it up by saying “Things that don’t make sense don’t need to because God the Father has a plan for us. As we put our faith in Him, we will see that plan through and be better off than we ever could have imagined”
Check out Ellis’ story from CBN:
Ellis’ career has been a journey. Today’s trade means that Ellis will suit up for his 6th different NHL team in
his 11 year career. But the 33 year old goaltender is glad to be in the NHL at all. In high school he got into drugs and partying and that impacted his grades and his hockey game. That meant there were no colleges offering scholarships, there was no major junior team looking at him. He played junior hockey for the Omaha Lancers – not a common place for NHL scouts to hang out. He says it was a way to travel around the U.S. for free before it was time to get a job. But instead a scholarship offer came, and from that, he was drafted and has been in and around the NHL ever since. He even holds the Nashville Predators record for longest shutout streak (233 minutes 39 seconds – just short of 4 games worth of shutout hockey). I enjoyed reading his story. God has been doing amazing things in Ellis’ life and continues to work out His plan. Ellis enjoys sharing about his faith in God too, at events like the Fellowship of Christian Athletes hockey camps
Here are my takeaways from Ellis’ story.
1- We are terrible Handymen! – And yet, even though we have failed so many times to right our situations on our own, we keep trying. We are so hesitant to surrender control and lean on God for help. We try to make things happen in our own time and by our own effort and then seem surprised when they fail or fall apart. I pray that we can learn to trust God in all parts of our life. His plan is always the best. I shared the story of Jonah to a group of kids this week and it seems applicable to this story as well. Jonah tried to carry out his own plan and it was a spectacular failure, but God’s plan ultimately prevailed and lives were changed for the better because of it.
2- Who do we strive to please? – In the video above we hear this:
The more he studied his Bible, the more he realized following Christ was the only way. “The other way of living wasn’t helping me in any way. It was maybe making me accepted with my friends but being accepted with your friends doesn’t really make your life work out. ”
And yet we care so much about what others will think about us and the choices we make. We are so nervous about fitting in and not rocking the boat, lest we find ourselves on the outside looking in. But in reality, the worst “outside looking in” we can experience is missing out on the reward of heaven that awaits us for living for God. He is the only one that we need to concern ourselves with and He is waiting and willing to help us live for Him. It all comes down to surrender. Are you willing to give up living for yourself and live for Him? It is a challenge that will face us every day of our lives. I pray that we will learn to surrender control and lean of God to fix our issues. He is the ultimate handyman!