Friday, December 04, 2009

Ready For The Next Shift

What is with me at the moment? I am getting quite a lot of 'life moments' whilst watching my boys play ice hockey. There is something about the discipline, communication and hard work which I believe is a healthy life lesson.

Here is another one.

A hockey team consists of 15 players or more, plus two netminders. These players are typically divided into three 'lines'. These lines normally work together as a team in their own right. Sometimes whole lines are 'swapped' in a match and sometimes individuals are swapped to try and match up opponent players. You probably get the picture - your first line plays against their first line, your second against their second, and so on. These are called 'shifts'.

However, sometimes this gets mixed up. Teams try and out-fox their opponents by swapping players randomly, or pulling a player off and then putting them back on almost immediately. It keeps the opposition guessing.

When you play hockey, you need a strong mental attitude. Why? Because you could be 'swapped' on and a few seconds later, you could be 'swapped' off again.

It could be quite disheartening being swapped almost immediately, which is why players are taught to always think about 'the next shift'. No matter how long the last shift was or what happened in it, you always put your mind to the next shift. You might have scored. You might have been caught offside and thus stopped the game and been swapped. It doesn't matter. You always get yourself ready to 'go again' and play hard.

In the Bible, one of my favourite Authors (Paul) talks about "forgetting what is behind and pressing on towards the goal". I like to think that life experiences and life-seasons are like 'shifts'. They could be very short or long, but what is important is that we press on. We look forward. We take the experience and things learnt from the last shift into the new one.

Whatever your walk is at the moment, why not take time to think about the next 'shift' and not the one you have just been in.

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