The few times that this Floridian has been to a hockey game, I am continually caught off guard when the action on the rink comes to a halt and a huge ice resurfacing machine comes out and takes all the attention. “It’s a Zamboni,” my Minnesota-bred husband explains. Not only is it a funny word to my ears (you know, one of those you want to repeat over and over or name a small dog after), but it is such an attention grabber. The entire sporting event comes to a stop, and the Zamboni driver takes center stage.
Slowly this huge machine rides over each inch of the cut-up, marred-by-ice-skating-blades chunk of frozen water. It rolls over ice that is no longer skateable due to gashes and divots and leaves behind smooth, untouched, resurfaced, ready-for-action ice. Only the future will tell what astounding feats will happen on the new surface. Whether it be hockey or ice skating, the new, smooth ice is imperative for the future feats to be performed.
Sounds like a pattern in our Christian lives, doesn’t it? Of course January 1 always makes us think of new beginnings and new horizons. We get to start the year off with a clean slate. Just like the Zamboni, God gives us a fresh, new perspective. As we put away all the Christmas letters that detailed the feats of the previous year and set our sights and thoughts on what this new year will hold, our human tendency is to ask, What will WE change? How will WE be better? Different? How will WE keep our chin up as the last child leaves the nest? How will WE scoop up our lives and organize them into goals that can be checked off a list, goals that WE can accomplish and maybe even put in next year’s Christmas letter?
When we surrendered our lives to Christ and asked Him to be our Lord, we were giving Him full rights to direct our paths, to direct what our goals should be. And yet life is messy. As ice skaters there will be times when we try to land a triple twirl only to fall on our backs and be reminded of our humanness as the back of our cold, wet shirt tells us that maybe the risk isn’t worth the effort. All of this goal setting and reaching—if done in our own human logic—is humanism, but a skater who is fully surrendered to her coach will not only learn to advance in twirling but will also be able to relax in her coach’s arms as He leads.
The ice must be cleaned. We must allow our Coach to choose what this next half of the skating looks like. We must allow Him to resurface all areas of our lives so that the rink is ready for more advanced skating . . . Coach-led skating. As we relax in His leadership and trust Him to make changes from past to present, He will choose much better than we can. He has so much more for us to become than we could ever imagine. Let us be patient as He changes the surface of where we are headed.