He lost seven teeth!
He lost seven teeth! I don’t know about you, but it was traumatic enough as a kid losing one tooth at a time. But seven? Though he’s really not to blame. Because when Duncan Keith saw the puck coming, there simply wasn’t enough time to turn his head. And so his mouth took the full brunt of that speeding ice hockey puck Sunday evening. Owww! And sure enough, when Keith put his hand up to his mouth, he spat out seven of his favorite teeth. Gone! Why then was Duncan Keith all smiles afterwards? Because his team, the Chicago Blackhawks, won on Sunday and are now headed to the Stanley Cup finals next week. And what are seven broken teeth in comparison to a dream chance to win the Super Bowl of ice hockey? Asked by reporters if he’d be replacing those seven teeth this week before the finals, Keith grinned and shook his head. No sense risking losing seven new teeth all over again. He plans to wait until the finals are over. Smart move, Duncan!
So what are you willing to risk for the sake of dream? Let’s face it—the bigger the dream, the higher the risk. Which is true for both the Andrews Academy graduates this weekend, as well as the “Mad About Marriage” seminar attendees. Brooding over a dream career? Dreaming of high octane joy in a lifelong marriage? It doesn’t matter the life goal you’re pursuing, the truth of the matter is you’ve got to be willing to take the Duncan Keith kind of risk. Which, of course, was precisely Jesus’ point to all of us: “‘If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross, and follow me. If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will find true life’” (Mark 8:34, 35 NLT).
Come to think of it, that’s what our Day of Fasting and Prayer (Sabbath, June 5) is about as well, isn’t it? Why would anybody fast about anything? Because if the stakes are high enough, you’re willing to sacrifice about anything to go for the “win.” And could the stakes for the church be higher on this planet than right now? The two Koreas at it again. Afghanistan and Iraq. The Euro and the European Union, and the UK and the US—all gripped (just this side of strangled) by crippling debt. And somewhere on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico we have opened a Pandora’s Box of ill. In three weeks world leaders and delegates of our community of faith meet in Atlanta to elect leaders and conduct the business of the church. Shouldn’t we be going to the mat before God on behalf of our world, our nation and our church? Join us next Sabbath, won’t you, for that sort of praying? Have questions about this idea of fasting? Go to our website, www.pmchurch.tv, and click on to the Day of Fasting and Prayer special banner—read the PDF paper—and invite your friends and family to join you. “‘If you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will find true life.’” Because some prayers, some dreams, some hopes are worth sacrificing for, aren’t they?