Last Friday night my husband and I snuck away for a coveted date night. Now, I say this knowing that once we have children, these nights will be coveted to a much greater degree, but even now in the midst of the busy weeks of full time school and ministry, we truly do hold onto our date nights tightly.
We headed out for dinner with tickets in hand to a hockey game. Our city has a team filled with young hopefuls with dreams to play for the NHL. With this much energy and drive, the arena is always sold out and the games give a local taste of what the pros are like. After filling ourselves to the brim at dinner we rushed off to the game.
Now, one thing that you should know about my husband is that he is an avid hockey player and lover. He plays in several leagues throughout the week and has grown up loving the sport. One thing that you should know about me is that I did not. Skating can be fun, although I can’t stop, and I’ve never put on the gear, held a stick or participated in a game. I have learned about the game through watching for many years on the sidelines.
As the second period drew to a close I leaned over and asked my husband what he was thinking. He shrugged, with a not too much kind of look, and then said that he was thinking about what each player’s next move might be. The game went on but I couldn’t help but think about the different perspective he and I had in watching this game. I was much more enthralled with the crowd, the action and the slushie that I held in my hand. Not even for a second had I found myself considering the thought-process of the players.
I realized that although we were both watching the same game, we were coming at it from two totally different angles. By being a participant in the sport, my husband had a whole different perspective of what was happening in front of us. I realized that I could learn every component of the game, from penalty calls to common plays, but until I laced up my skates, strapped on a helmet and picked up a stick, I really wouldn’t know what it was like to play hockey. I had a limited perspective.
Don’t we do this sometimes? We find ourselves going through life blissfully unaware of the impact our experience has on the way we think. There are things that we are passionate about and yet we allow fear, uncertainty, busyness, or excuses get in the way of actually diving in and doing the activity. I have always loved to speak publicly. I have read books on speaking, listened to many great speakers and gained knowledge about speaking. And yet, if I never actually got up the courage to publicly speak, I would be missing out on experiencing my passion.
What are you passionate about? Don’t allow yourself to have time go by without experiencing it. Don’t give into the second-rate knowledge from the sidelines. You may be surprised just how much you can do, just how much you are actually capable of, and just how much perspective you gain by actually trying something that you love.
Don’t get me wrong, I can really enjoy the game of hockey from my seat in the crowd but I’ll never really know what it is like to play unless I pick up the stick. So go for it, try something you are afraid of. See if you can broaden your perspective. And if hockey is your thing, maybe you and I can learn how to stop together.