Friday, January 31, 2014


rob stopGrowing up I was a stereotypical Canadian kid. Playing hockey on frozen sheets of water in fields, backyards, lakes and community rinks. My dad was the typical hockey dad. Maybe a super hockey dad even. Kind of like Walter Gretsky without the famous and talented hockey player son. He would flood the outdoor rink after it got too dark for us kids to play. The spray of water freezing to his Ski-Doo suit until he looked like a huge ice cube. He was there for the early morning practices and late night games. He drove us thousands of miles (metric wasn't in yet--still isn't for dad) to small communities all over Ontario. I have no idea how many hours he would have spent standing in the cold rinks watching me play the game that I loved.
For most of my life I thought my dad was like all the other dads. Coming to the rink to watch their kids play. It hadnt really occured to me that my dad came to every game. Every pratice. Every time I was on the ice he showed up to watch. No other Dad had an attendence record like his. I haden't noticed that other Dad’s missed. Some often. Some rarely. But all missed.
As traditions have it teams gather around the goalie before a game to wish each other well and yell their war cry. Maybe in hope to intemidate the other team. Perhaps to summon their own courage. One such game as the team came toghter one of the guys asked where my Dad was. It was noticable to the other players that he wasnt in the rink. He was always in the rink, wheather it was a game or practice. 6am or 11pm. He was there. But now it was 30 seconds before the puck dropped and he was not. I gave no thought to my answer to the question. I had no ideas were he was but I gave a confident “Don’t worry guys he will be here before the puck drops.” We skated to center ice. I look up into the stands and there was the familiar Ski-Doo suit taking his place in the rink. Of course he showed up. He always does. And the puck drops.
Years later a friend is asking me about God the Father and why I have what some might say is a blind faith in Gods faithfulness. I didn't really know the answer until I was reminded of this story of my father showing up at the rink. Always. Faithfully. Before the puck drops. He was teaching me about who God is. That He is interested in me and the things I do and He will be there…always.
Dads are mirrors of God. We teach our kids about the character of God the Father through our relationships with our sons. All Dads miss this because we aren’t perfect. Some rarely, some often and some always.
I am so grateful for glimpses of God the father – through a man in a Ski-Doo suit standing in a cold rink.
ROB SNAIR, Director of Life Teams

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