The Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup tonight, beating the Detroit Red Wings with a huge win in Game 7. The deciding game, winner take all, of any sport is awesome to watch. I particularly love the moments right at the end of the game when the players are freaking out, hugging each other, and basically acting like a bunch of kids on Christmas morning. You see such elation on their faces. They have attained the thing that every hockey player dreams of doing: winning the ultimate contest for the coolest trophy in sports, the Stanley Cup.
But as I watched the Pens celebrate tonight, each one taking his turn lifting the Cup over his head and skating it around the ice, I couldn’t help but wonder what they were thinking. Did it feel like they’d always dreamed? What were their thoughts? You know that most of them (now here I delve into speculation. I do not know any of these guys personally) have built their moment with the Cup to be the be-all and end-all of their careers. At that moment, is it worth it? Do they feel differently? Are they complete?
As I watched tonight, I couldn’t help but wonder if maybe one or two of them went “is this it? I did it all for this?”
Haven’t you been there? Hasn’t there been something or someone in your life that you have built up to be the absolute one thing that will make everything perfect in your life? That one missing piece that will make you say “I have arrived! I am finally complete!” Often, it’s little things like a new phone/car/house. It can be that person that you’ve dreamed about marrying, and built up to be the one that will finally make you feel alive.
Trouble is, we’re trying to fit square pegs into round holes. Or, better yet, we’re tying to fill the Grand Canyon with a thimble of water. It doesn’t work. We spend our lives searching for something to fill in a hole that only God will fit, and when time after time we achieve whatever it is, we inevitably find out that we’re left feeling empty again. The euphoria wears off. Reality creeps back in. The hole is still there.
No trophy, no gadget, no person will every fill that hole, except the One who created and formed you. (Psalm 139) So let us quit trying to fill it with everything else.