Turning playoff energy on

Hockey can teach us something about faith

Having just watched the Canucks win the second series of post season games, one can feel the excitement and anxiety level rising.  

Playoff fever is well and truly upon us and the number of Canuck flags blowing from car windows will no doubt increase rapidly.  For diehard fans who have watched their games all season this is especially rewarding, and for part-time watchers who become passionate fans during the playoffs only, it is good to have something exciting to replace the usual TV fare.

But, before long, whatever the results of the coming series, the season will be over and all that energy and passion will have dissipated.  

Or will it? While sports playoffs provide great entertainment and good conversation fodder, when a series or a season is over we may be left with enthusiasm and nowhere to place it.

There’s nothing particularly wrong with that except that there is so much in life, so many causes, people, needs, injustices and good ideas to which such passion and energy could also make a difference.  

Jesus once said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” 

Indeed, the interests and activities to which we direct our enthusiasm are a reflection of our values and our deepest concerns. Hockey notwithstanding. 

So it’s a good question to ask, what else are you passionate about? How are your innermost thoughts and hopes and prayers for a better world expressed in your outward actions and support. Those are big questions with potentially big answers, however just as a journey begins with a single step, so the quest for righting wrongs and improving situations begins with a first act.

Some of that hockey enthusiasm could be duplicated to counter something that really bothers you — children living with poverty for example, is a cause for which more advocates are desperately needed.   Advocacy starts with research and self-education so that myths may be dispelled and root causes exposed. A tiny first step is to write a letter to a legislator or an elected official, and to follow that up with contact.  lt requires persistence and energy — rather like that displayed by a hockey fan!

Another suggestion for post-season redeployment of play off fever is to put some energy into actively encouraging and practically supporting someone who could use a jolt of your energy. 

A young person facing big life decisions, or an acquaintance struggling in loneliness or concern. As we look around us it is easy to notice things that we know are not right and need improving, and we can despair of things ever changing. Yet, with some energy and interest from those who truly care, there is always hope.

So enjoy the playoffs by all means, but let’s ask ourselves what else and where else we can be as passionate and enthusiastic as we are about the games. Go Canucks! 



Alan Naylor is pastor at St. Mark’s Anglican Church in Qualicum Beach.


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