On the GO train coming home from a disappointing Jays loss, I was thinking it might be time to prepare myself for my next favourite sport, HOCKEY. Please don’t get me wrong, I am not giving up on the Jays, not at all! But with a nip in the air and NHL pre-season hockey beginning in less then 12 days - it’s just natural, right? So, on the train ride home to pass the time, Tyler and I looked at the Leafs schedule to plan our next “sports” outing.
The talk of hockey got me thinking. I could never be a professional hockey player. Now that you have recovered from me stating not only the bizarre but the obvious, I can say honestly that I have enjoyed playing hockey on the frozen lake up the cottage on the extremly rare occasions that I have braved our frigid Canadian winters. The position I like playing is the goalie. To be the goalie you have to be alert, ready to protect the left side and move quickly to guard the right. It really is fun and I am not too bad, if I say so myself, willing to lie right down in front of the net to block the goal if need be. Painful, yes, but worth it for the sake of my team.
Now, of course, professional hockey players don’t use my particular goaltending technique (apparently they are not legal moves), but they will do almost anything they can to keep the other team from getting close and scoring. And that’s not always easy. Sometimes, members of your own team work against you by scoring in their own net! The job of the goalie is to protect the net at all cost.
Check out Proverbs 4:20-27 and look particularly at verse 23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” In a world where we are constantly bombarded by messages and images that are questionable at best and vile at their worst, we are reminded to guard our hearts. We are urged to keep our hearts pure. Like the goalie we need to be alert with eyes wide open and to keep out thoughts and actions that are dishonouring to God. Verse 25-27:
Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.
Evil is all around and we need to be careful not to let our guard down, the outcome of that could result in a goal for the other team. We must rely on God for our protection and Jesus is our example through obedience to His Father, prayer and His love for others.
As the goalie guards the net, we are to guard our hearts.
I’m praying for a SHUTOUT!
Please join us this Sunday as we continue our sermon series entitled Praying Like Paul. Join us immediately following the service for our FALL KICKOFF BBQ! It will be a great time of food and fellowship - rain or shine!
I am looking forward to worshipping with you!