Have you ever watched a hockey fight? They’re brutal. Bare-knuckle, knock-down, drag-out, last-man-standing bouts, all while on razor-sharp metal blades on a slippery surface that makes most of us look like Bambi.
Some critics think that the NHL should do everything it can to do away with fighting in the sport of hockey — they say it’s dangerous, they say it’s part of a by-gone era, they say that it takes away from all the other parts of the sport that make it great. And to be honest, there’s some truth to all of that.
But have you ever watched the moments right before a hockey fight? Usually, something else has happened — a cheap shot, a dirty hit, something gets said that is a little too far over the line — and it provides the spark that sends the whole thing up in flames. You can see the players lock eyes, the gloves are thrown to the ice, sleeves are pulled up just a little bit, the bell rings and the fight is on.
Hockey fights don’t exist just for the sake of violence — they’re a stand-your-ground, enough-is-enough response to what’s going on around them.
Many of us spent our Tuesday night watching the election results roll in and experienced a mix of emotions — happiness, sadness, excitement, anger, fear, hope — and struggled to figure out how we respond.
But we’ve been trying to figure out how to respond for a while now. Our nation is divided, mass tragedies are at an all-time high and political, social and cultural movements are pulling us in so many different directions — and we find ourselves sitting here with no idea what comes next. It sometimes seems like we don’t even get a breath in between one thing going wrong and yet another heartbreak and it feels like we’re running out of air.
There is so much pain and brokenness in our world right now. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all of it. It’s easy to fall into apathy because we don’t think we can make a difference.
But this is not how things are meant to be.
God didn’t create us for a world of hate and violence — God created us for a world of love and peace. God didn’t create us for life of dissonance and separation — God created us for a life of harmony and community. God didn’t create us for fear and apathy — God created us for hope and transformation.
I know how hard it is when you feel like you’re just screaming into the void and no one is listening. I know how hard it is when you feel like you’re moving mountains but it looks like you haven’t moved an inch. I know how hard it is when you’re fighting for issues that are tearing at your very heart and soul but you don’t know if it will ever make a difference. I know because I’m right there with you.
You know who else is there? God. God is filling that void, listening to your voice and is calling back out to you with comfort and guidance. God is moving the mountains and shaping the world to look a little more like heaven, even if it seems like it’s only an inch at a time. God is fighting for you and for me and for everyone else in this world because God loves us so much that he came to break bread and walk with us, to fight alongside us and to show us that there is another way — a better way — to live.
We can’t fix everything that is broken. We can’t heal every source of pain. We can’t decide what other people think or say or do. But we can hope and we can fight. We all have things that light a fire in us, and our calling as Christians isn’t to just sit on our hands and feel sorry for the world around us, it is to stand up and say enough is enough.
I have a little fight left in me. Do you?
Drop the gloves. Answer the call.
Associate Director of Youth Ministries