“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.” (Ecclesiastes 9:10 )
After a brutal three game hockey tournament, I came home. I was tired and ready for bed. Then I came across this question in my Facebook newsfeed from Hockey Ministries International. That is, “Do you think you would rather ride the bench for a winning team or play a lot of minutes for a losing team?”
Hmmmm, as a hockey Mom, that was a tough one. I thought about it. Our hockey team is very young. All but two of our kids are first year peewee. Our team is also very small. Our second year kids outweigh our first year kids by almost forty or fifty pounds. So, when we play other teams, the size difference between the players on each team is very noticeable. This year our kids, although they work really hard, are struggling. They really want to win but they just aren’t strong enough. Plus, they are slightly intimidated by the fact that the players on the other teams are huge in comparison.
With that said, the first game we lost 9-0. The kids played hard but once we were down by 4 or 5 goals, the fire went out. With lots of encouragement from parents, the spark was rekindled. The kids were all fired up and ready to go again this morning. They fought a hard fought battle, had some great shots on goal but just couldn’t get past the goalie. They lost game two 5-0. Throughout, our goalie (who we parents say is going to grow up to be a superstar) — lol….faced more shots in those two games than an NHL goalie would.
Game three. Well, we already knew going in it was going to be tough. We even thought it might possibly be a little more aggressive than our players were accustomed to because those thirteen kids were ready. And yes, it was crazy. Our team had eighteen penalty minutes when we normally might have two or four. One of our least aggressive kids — known for not being able to hurt a fly or for that matter, even a spider, got kicked out if the game. All us parents could do was laugh.
What I mean is that the game was so crazy, it ended up being funny. So we cheered for the awesome moments (yes, we cheered when the other team got a penalty … but not in a mean way … because the parents from the opposing team thought the game was crazy too ;)) We clapped as the other team scored 9 goals. We roared when we got our only goal (we really just wanted one). Yes, we lost miserably but all our kids were still smiling. All thirteen boys knew that in spite of being outscored 23-1, each and every one of them played the best they could.
So my answer to the Hockey Ministries question is this. Having watched these young children grow into amazing hockey players, working together day in and day out as a team, I would rather the kids play as much as they can knowing that they did their best on the ice and still lose — than to be stuck watching a game and doing nothing. The only time my opinion might change is if the game is almost over (with less than two minutes on the scoreboard) and the scores are so close that they could win … because missing forty five seconds of play never hurt anyone. In that case, the win is worth it because for every other minute those kids worked hard and deserved it.
When I asked my son the same question, he agreed. He said that playing your hardest and losing is always better than not playing hockey at all. As a mom, I’m so glad that boy of mine is so awesome 😉 “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” (Colossians 3:23-24)