Breakaways & Broken Spirits
A beautiful February day filled with sunshine, laughter and friends. It was a TreeHouse staff retreat and we had the morning and afternoon off. A group of us headed to a local hockey rink for some broomball.
Since many players enjoying scoring goals more than stopping them I volunteered to play goalie for our team. I also knew that most if not all the players were more athletic and better broomball players that I was. I also assumed that the differences in our abilities would be less evident with me in goal.
I played a pretty good game. Our defense had played an excellent game, but so did theirs. It was a 0-0 game.
At one point the opposing team cut through our defense with a two on one break. Their two best shooters against one of our defensemen and me.
They cut rushed up ice. A pass to the right and back to the left. A hard shot. I beat it down, but it bounced away. An rebound a pass across the slot. Another quick shot into an almost wide-open net.
I was furious. I felt like I let down my team. I felt incapable of being the goaltender our team needed.
We were losing 1-0 in a hard-fought game and I felt like it would only get worse.
I asked someone else to cover the goal.
I played recklessly and angrily but fortunately because of timely passes and a still great defense I scored three straight goals and we won 3-1.
Was I happy? Yes, for the team.
Was I glad? No, I felt relief.
All I could think of was the wide-open goal I gave up.
• What was I afraid of?
• What was missing?
• Was my self-esteem well empty?
• What was I trying to fill the well up with? Success? Approval?
Healing is a Choice – Pain
The other day I reviewed, “Healing Is a Choice” by Stephen Arterburn. He wrote, “Pain, for all its hurts, can be a positive thing. We deny it at our own peril.”1
“We can rejoice…when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” 2
Consider the positive impact of pain. It gets our attention. Break a finger, stub a toe, suffer a migraine headache, or experience the rejection of a close friend, and you will pay attention!
Pain is a great motivator. When we experience it, we are moved to action.
Pain gives us direction (it) moves us toward healing, spurs us to find employment, and pushes us to make a fresh start.
Pain prompts us to connect with others. It is true that some folks, when enduring great pain, turn inward and isolate themselves. What they need most are good friends who can reach out to them. However, most people seek the support of others from whom they can draw strength as they walk through the valley of pain.
Pain may not feel good, but it is not always our enemy.
1 – Healing Is a Choice is available many places including on Amazon.com.
2 – Romans 5:3–5, NLT