If you don't know anything about hockey, you might want to skip this paragraph, or maybe stick with it and learn something new. A team gets a power play when the opposing team has to send one skater off the ice to the penalty box for committing, well, a penalty. So for the duration of the power play one team has a one man advantage - a great opportunity to score. However, as I learned this morning while pounding the (figurative) pavement, it can also create an advantage for the team defending against the power play. With all of the focus for the power play team on attacking the opposing team's goal, when the penalty time expires the penalized player can slip out of the penalty box behind the defense who are not focused on defending their own goal. This creates an opportunity for a quick outlet pass and breakaway chance for the penalized team. To keep that from happening, the goalie of the power play team hits the ice with his stick to sound a warning that the penalty time is ending and the penalized player is returning to the ice. On Sportscenter I think I heard Barry Melrose refer to this as a beaver tail, though I'm having trouble verifying the terminology via Google. (Perhaps it's a Canadian thing; or maybe I didn't have as much O2 to the brain as I thought.)
So anyway, I learned something new about sports - cool! And then I began looking for a tenuous connection to something blog-worthy. Don't we all need a goalie in our lives to slap the ice and warn us every so often of something in our blind spot? Or don't you need to be that goalie for your brother or sister in Christ? Got a friend who's been a little too excited, a little too often about passing on "news" that sounds a little too much like gossip? Slap the ice for that person. Know a guy who's been too friendly with that girl who's not his wife? Beaver tail! Is there a dad who has been giving all of his attention and focus to work (in order to provide for his family!) but he's neglecting his kids? Give him a heads up. Someone straying from sound doctrine? Sound a warning.
- Proverbs 27:17 "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another." We should have a sharpening influence in one another's lives. One way we do that is by warning them when we see danger that they don't.
- James 5:19-20 "My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins." Wow. A hockey goalie might save a goal by warning his teammate but you might save someone's soul.
- Galatians 6:1 "Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted." I guess banging the ice isn't exactly gentle, but no illustration is perfect.