Archive for September, 2011

Sweaty and exhausted after hockey practice, I dropped onto a bench in the locker room. As I yanked off my skates, I listened to a teammate spread the latest gossip.

“Can you believe she hooked up with him? What does he see in her, anyway?”

“Who knows?” I replied. I felt a familiar twinge of guilt and ignored it.

Another teammate interrupted our conversation. “Laura, you’re gonna play in Sunday’s game, right?”

“For sure!” I answered. I didn’t feel as sure as I sounded. My stomach had flip-flopped when Coach announced the schedule. I’d have to miss church … again.

It was my sophomore year, and I’d played for the Komets seven months of every year since fifth grade. I’d made the hockey-over-church choice a thousand times. But it never got any easier.

My youth pastor often encouraged me to come to church and youth group more often. He said God should always come before sports. He just doesn’t understand what it’s like to be on a team, I thought to myself. But I knew he was at least partly right. I played volleyball for my high school, but that never conflicted with church the way hockey did. Because I was on a club hockey team, we often had Sunday games–which meant I missed a lot of Sunday school and church. Practice on Wednesday nights meant I rarely went to Bible study.

It went beyond just missing church activities, though. My relationship with Christ was starting to slip. It’s not like I was totally walking away from God. My teammates did a lot of stuff I never got into, like swearing and drinking.

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