Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Skill or Luck?

I guess the Canucks aren't going to the Grey Cup after all! Sorry Stanley. This probably won't help my relationship with Canuck fans. (added Thursday).

I’ll probably raise the ire of Canuck fans to say that the outcome of last night’s game was a stroke of luck. The stroke was the last swipe at the puck, and the luck was getting it through the few inches between the goalie and the side post.

If there was any skill in the game, the Sharks should have won with more than double Vancouver’s shots on goal. The fact that Vancouver won was primarily due to the skill of their goalie. Frankly, the goalie makes the game, however skilful his teammates are.

A similar stroke of luck made a Campbell River man 37 million dollars richer. His stroke was with his pen, and luck came against odds of more than 37 million to one. No one would claim his win was by skill of any sort. Which raises the question of how much luck is needed in the game of life.

The Bible recognizes much of life is chance. “The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favour to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.” Ecclesiastes 9:11.

But as we have noted with hockey, some skill can alter the outcome; a fatalistic attitude will generally—except for the odd chance—lead to a diminishing result. But even taking responsibility for what life brings us, chance may still rob us of the results we desire.

The only certainty we have in this life is found in the words of Him who created us: “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’” Hebrews 13:5.

Perhaps we can’t take that to the bank, but we can take it to bed with us—even if we are Sharks’ fans.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Queen Victoria Day

I suppose we have to thank Queen Victoria for today’s holiday. That’s assuming she established it, or did someone do it in her remembrance? I guess either way, we have today off. But it begs the question, why don’t we have a day off for every sovereign’s birthday?

And it raises the next question, Why do we have a holiday just because it is, or was her birthday. And why a birthday for a king or queen anyway; I’d rather have a holiday on my birthday to celebrate—on second thoughts, at my age I don’t particularly want to count birthdays, thank you!

Eventually, I suppose it’s any excuse for a holiday. Alberta had given us “Family Day” in February to round out approximately a holiday every month of the year. But what’s a family to do in February? Why not a family week in July?

It reminds me of the crazy Quebecers where the construction industry shuts down for two weeks every summer for vacation—during the best building weather in this winterized climate. Or the crazy Canadians generally who have new year’s day off for no particular reason—let’s give that one to the Quebec building industry!

But probably the more relevant question is what we are going to do with today’s break? Well for one, I’m going to rejoice that Harold’s prediction was off again, and look forward to his next one. For you it may be resting up After THE GAME and gaining strength for the next one!

What about the rest of life: Is it going to count for something? But we only have one day at a time. We can’t count on tomorrow and yesterday has gone. What are you going to do today that leaves a worthwhile memory for tomorrow, and what will you do if you have tomorrow? And most relevant—are you prepared if you don’t?