A couple of years ago around this time, 3 of my friends and I made a trip to Dallas, TX to go watch an NHL hockey game. It was kind of a fluke thing actually, the stars aligned just right to where my favorite sports team, the San Jose Sharks, would be playing a playoff game six in Dallas on a Sunday (allowing us all to be able to go). After spending the day in Dallas, enjoying the best burger I have ever eaten among other things, we headed to the game. We were rooting for the Sharks along with some friends in the section next to us, but other than that we were pretty much the only Sharks fans there. A normal hockey game, for those that don’t know, is three periods of twenty minutes. The Stars (Dallas’ team) scored first and the place went nuts. I also remember in the third period when the Sharks finally tied the game how eerily quiet the building was except for us lone Sharks fans.
The game went into overtime. Overtime periods in the playoffs are also twenty minutes long until a team scores. It was the most intense thing I have ever been apart of. One overtime. Two overtimes. Three overtimes. Keep in mind they stopped serving food and beverages somewhere in the third period of regulation. But not a single person had left the building as the time was now reaching 2 in the morning as the fourth overtime had started. Four overtimes, the equivalent of two games had been played and then some. It ended up being almost 130 minutes long, the eighth longest game in NHL history.
There were some close calls in the scoring department; a couple of near goals went under review for both teams, until finally in the fourth overtime the Stars scored. The place went ballistic. Streamers were falling from the sky, fireworks, horns were blowing and we sat there in silence for about 20 seconds before quickly making our exit.
Even though “we” lost the game, I remember feeling strangely okay with it. Not in the sense that “we” tried our hardest and put out our best effort, but more in the realization that sometimes this is how life goes. Sometimes the things we put the most effort and energy into don’t work out in our favor. Sometimes we will go through trials and overtimes and don’t come out victorious. Sometimes we will get our asses kicked and have nothing to show for it. I think sometimes in life, the moral of the story isn’t try your hardest and you will succeed.
I’m not trying to be a downer here or anything, I do believe that the best things in life are the hardest to achieve and even though we may never achieve them there is no harm in trying. More importantly, if we never achieve these things we can still learn a lot in the process.
I do think that some people do quit when things become difficult. Sometimes people believe that God “closes doors” and doesn’t want people to do certain things. To a certain degree, I think that this excuse is bogus. I believe that if God is showing you something that He wants you to do it, but you need to be sure that you want to do it. The biggest mistake we can make is thinking that just because God has inspired us to do something that this means it is going to be easy. I would argue the opposite actually; that once God places something on your heart then you should get prepared to go through hell to get there. Nothing in life that is actually worth anything is easy, nor should it be. When God “closes a door” in your life I think it to be an invitation to kick the door down—to find a new way.
Sometimes we will win and get to the destination as planned, but the majority of the time we will get kicked around and beaten up so much along the way. But the beauty of it is that just because we may never cross the finish line or achieve the goal, it doesn’t mean that God is not proud of you, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t where God wants you. But there is a sense of pride in knowing that you gave it everything you had and you learned something along the way.
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