When things just don’t go our way

Truro Daily News - - FAITH/RELIGION - Ken Banks Ken Banks is the lead pas­tor at Connection Church in Truro.

A cou­ple of decades ago, the Bri­tish rock band, Chum­bawamba, re­leased a song that in­cluded the lyrics, “I get knocked down, but I get up again. You are never gonna keep me down…”

This song be­came quite pop­u­lar and even­tu­ally reached No. 6 on the US Bill­board Hot 100.

Along with a catchy beat, the song’s lyrics por­tray a real-life bat­tle be­tween strug­gle and per­se­ver­ance. As one band mem­ber stated, the song was writ­ten about “the re­silience of or­di­nary peo­ple.”

Per­haps, we as ‘or­di­nary peo­ple’ re­late to such songs and to other peo­ple deal­ing with bat­tles be­cause strug­gle is very per­sonal to us. Sym­pa­thy for oth­ers is in­voked within us when we see bro­ken­ness or heartache amongst our fel­low hu­man beings, be­cause we, too, have walked or are walk­ing that road.

Of course, the opposite can be true as well. We tend to like watch­ing a train wreck. If some­one’s life is go­ing off the rails, par­tic­u­larly a pub­lic fig­ure or some­one we deem has it com­ing to them, it can be just as in­trigu­ing to us to watch them get knocked down.

At time of writ­ing, the St. Louis Blues are bat­tling the San Jose Sharks in the Western Con­fer­ence Fi­nals where the vic­tor will go on to face the Boston Bru­ins for the Stan­ley Cup. Per­haps by the time you read this, the Blues will have al­ready ad­vanced; if not then you know that the Sharks have forced a se­ries-de­cid­ing game 7.

Like the Toronto Maple Leafs, who have not won the Stan­ley Cup since 1967, the Blues have never won since they were formed in 1967. They are tied with the Leafs for the long­est win­less streak.

A cousin of mine, Jake Allen, is the cur­rent back-up goal­tender for the Blues.

Prior to this sea­son, how­ever, Jake was their start­ing goalie. He had been cho­sen 34th in the 2008 draft, and be­came a reg­u­lar in the lineup in 2014-15. He was Canada’s goalie when they won gold in 2008 at the World Ju­nior U18 tour­na­ment; he was also Canada’s net­min­der when they won sil­ver at the 2009 World Ju­niors.

Be­sides th­ese medals, Jake has won the Jacques Plante Tro­phy as goalie of the year in the QMJHL for 2009–10, and was Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memo­rial Award winner as the Amer­i­can Hockey League’s (AHL) Out­stand­ing Goal­tender for the 2013–14 sea­son.

Jake has been both the goalie of the fu­ture and of the present for the Blues.

How­ever, this year, at the age of 28, he has been re­placed as the team’s start­ing goalie by a rookie; a guy who has played ev­ery play­off game for the team, but had never started in the NHL prior to Jan­uary. I can imag­ine that this is not how Jake had en­vi­sioned his year go­ing. What this means for his fu­ture, one can only spec­u­late.

I un­der­stand that it can be hard for us to have em­pa­thy for some­one who is playing a game and is earn­ing mil­lions of dol­lars doing so; yet the re­al­ity is that hockey play­ers, like all of us, are just ‘or­di­nary peo­ple’ at the end of the day.

When things don’t go our way or as we had planned, it can be very rough. We might seek out coun­selling, take time off from work or our nor­mal sched­ules or, if none of those op­tions are avail­able, we sim­ply might just per­se­vere and push on.

While ad­vice from oth­ers and down time are great op­tions, I be­lieve that at the core foun­da­tion, we need to un­der­stand that dur­ing our train wrecks of life, there is a God who cares about us. He pro­vides for those who look for Him.

In 2 Corinthi­ans 4:8-9 it’s de­clared, “We are hard pressed on ev­ery side, but not crushed; per­plexed, but not in de­spair; per­se­cuted, but not aban­doned; struck down, but not de­stroyed.”

God knows that we will face trouble. Life doesn’t al­ways work out the way we want.

But that same chap­ter goes on to re­mind us that our cir­cum­stances need not de­fine us: “There­fore we do not lose heart. Though out­wardly we are wast­ing away, yet in­wardly we are be­ing re­newed day by day. For our light and mo­men­tary trou­bles are achiev­ing for us an eter­nal glory that far out­weighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is tem­po­rary, but what is unseen is eter­nal.”

The power and hope to over­come de­feat come from God. If you are fac­ing hard days, do not lose heart. Look to the One who is unseen, and is able to re­new us day by day. Look to Je­sus.

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