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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write in the HUMOR genre (04/12/07)

TITLE: The Good Old Hockey Game
By RuthAnn Cornelson


Can we learn anything meaningful about life from a few men on a block of ice? Unlikely, but we are talking hockey here, so possibly. I am sitting high up in the stands, in the cheap seats, where you can see the whole rink below. Of course, the players are a mite small and the puck a mere black dot, but the game really is all about the noise, the excitement, the mixed scents of garlic fries, hot dogs and popcorn. OK, yes, and the fights.

The ref is holding the puck between two tense players, sticks on the ice, ready. “Let’s play hockey!” The puck is dropped and it all begins. This is no ordinary game; this is the second round of the playoffs. The series is tied at two games a piece and tonight is that pivotal, all important fifth game. Intently I watch with the other 6,878 fans as the players skate frantically around, chasing a little piece of hard, black rubber, which is really hard to keep track of. It’s best just to watch for the crash of bodies against the boards and the spray of ice from skates digging to a stop. My team is skating towards the goal, maneuvering the puck in and out between skates and sticks. What skill! Look at that pass! There’s nothing like the sound of a hockey puck solidly striking the stick of it’s intended receiver.

I look over at my husband who is explaining something about the game to the guy next to him. The first time I ever saw hockey was watching him play for our team at Bible school. I learned to love the game while I was falling in love with him. I am reaching for some popcorn, when I hear the roar of the crowd, which can mean only one thing – FIGHT!! I look around the arena and am suddenly transported to the Coliseum of ancient Rome. The whole crowd is on their feet, cheering and shouting, fists waving. Gladiators on skates are battling valiantly. The more gloves and helmets that hit the ice, the louder the crowd gets. I find myself caught up in it, screaming too.

The fight is broken up by the hated refs, the crowd settles down, and some players from each team are sitting in the penalty box. The rest of the team is back on the ice. In a few minutes I hear that most exciting of sounds, the blast of the horn announcing the goal! Again and again it happened. 3-0, for the good guys! Only one period left. We are sure to win!

My daughter, who has developed a healthy taste for hockey, turns and asks, “Hey Mom, what’s your prediction for the final score?” I think for a moment and decide to say something ridiculous. “Four to three, for them,” I declare. “What?!” she responds in horrified shock. “Hey, I’m just kidding. I didn’t mean it,” and immediately the puck sails into our net, making the score 3-1.

She glares daggers at me. “It’s not my fault,” I plead apologetically. She isn’t impressed and soon all the people around us know the story and when the score hits 3-3 in the next few minutes, I am seriously contemplating escape routes. In ten minutes they score four goals and the game ends, four to three, for them! It’s not my fault! I didn’t know it was going to happen. If I had, I would have told the coach ahead of time so he could have done something about it.

Sometimes in life, like in hockey, we wish we could know what was going to happen before it does, so we could change it, fix it so that it all turns out well. But that’s not what God intends for our lives, because a life where only good happens is a life with no growth, no appreciation, no empathy for others. Without losses how could we rejoice in the victories? Maybe my team learned some very valuable things from this loss so that they will be better prepared for tomorrow’s game. Here’s hopin’!

God doesn’t want us to know the future, but to trust Him with it, good or bad.
Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, had this to say about it:

When times are good, be happy;
but when times are bad, consider:
God has made the one
as well as the other.
Therefore, a man cannot discover
anything about his future.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jacquelyn Horne04/21/07
Such a true pov. God wants us to take the bad with the good. A little chopping around the roots makes the plant grow. Good advice.
Brenda Welc04/21/07
Nice writing. Not a hockey fan either but what we endure for our loved ones eh?
Jan Ackerson 04/22/07
This amused me because I have a daughter who fell head-over-heels with a hockey fan, and now she can spout Red Wings triva. Cute!