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Legacies & Legends - Part 1

thankyoumrhockey

BY HENRY ROY

Who is the greatest in your life? Who do you trust? Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. Hebrews 11:1-2

The world of sports handles its history with kid gloves and strives to commemorate the greatness of each succeeding generation of athlete with many quality markers. 

These markers include statistical greatness, championship greatness, and of course for the elite of the elite, Hall of Fame greatness. 

Our sport of hockey is certainly no exception to this principle. Hockey prides itself on the foundation that has been built by the ancestry of the game. 

The pillars of the game have established individual legacies that collectively form a heritage of hockey achievement in all phases of the game. When hockey fans and players consider names like Howe, Orr, Gretzky, and Lemieux a certain thought, feeling or emotion is invoked and they are celebrated and honored for what is imminently known about their lasting accomplishments and achievements. 

They are all pillars of the game and through their feats and respect for the game and each other, they have all demonstrated the greatness required to enhance the game in a unique way that was not privy prior to them stepping on the scene….the essence of leaving a legacy.

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Webster’s dictionary defines a legacy as follows: something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past.

This past year saw the death of Gordie Howe, a.k.a. Mr. Hockey. Gordie’s career transcended 3 decades at the professional level and is widely considered by many hockey pundits and more importantly his peers to be the greatest player to ever play the game. He was multi-dimensional in nature.

He could score, create for teammates and certainly embraced the physical aspect of the game. It is after him that hockey lore coined the term “Gordie Howe Hat Trick” for players completing a game with a goal, assist and a fight!

It is more than evident by the 12 hour tribute and the amazing outpouring of love at his funeral that he was a legend of the game that impacted the lives of many and left hockey in a better place than it was before he entered it.

The New testament book of Hebrews speaks to the legacy principle. It highlights pillars of the faith that all lived out the will of God for their lives and as a result left a legacy of faith for all believers to follow. Abraham, Isaac, Noah, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and several more Old Testament men and women of God are commended for their acts of faith and belief in God’s promises, seen and unseen.

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By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith. Hebrews 11:7

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. Hebrews 11:8

By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. Hebrews 11:24

It is clear by the words in this chapter known as the Hall of Faith that as Christians we have been left with great testimonies and examples to follow in our own faith journeys. Just as it is with the next generation of hockey players, it is our responsibility to honor the legacies of those that have come before us and desire to add our own bricks to the foundation of faith that rests upon our biblical ancestors and culminates with the work of Jesus on the cross.

Items For Thought

  1. Have you ever considered who has had the biggest spiritual impact on your life?

  2. What legacy do you desire to leave your family/team?

  3. Read Hebrews 11 and consider the bible record of achievement for the Hall of Faith legacies.