Has Anything Good Ever Come Out Of Canada?

Maybe I have a romantic idealism about our neighbors to the north, but I really like Canada. It could be our family camping trips there when I was a kid – yeah I’ve been to Penticton, pretty cool right? – the awesome Maple Leaf flag, all those Dudley Do-Right cartoons I watched, or Shane Koyczan’s impressive spoken-word performance at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games opening ceremonies. Whatever it is, I’m hooked.

And then I saw this great winter headwear and knew I needed no further proof that Canada is all kinds of awesome:

The Beard Hat – You Know You Want One!

But here’s something even more impressive. A team of 18-20 year olds wanted to play in a hockey tournament but the timing was bad, coinciding with exams at school. So the players told the coach they couldn’t go unless the trip included study time. The coach agreed and notified the league that the players would miss the opening and closing ceremonies because they had to study. After the tournament finished, the league told the coach he made the wrong choice (all players had to be present at all functions according to the tournament manual) and banned him from coaching for a full year. Then it fined him $2000. He’s a volunteer coach. $2000 and a year in exile for making a choice that he informed them about ahead of time. Thanks for all your hard work, Coach; no we couldn’t have told you beforehand that the players weren’t allowed to skip the ceremonies.

From what little we can see of the coach in that article, I would bet he’d make the same choice if given the opportunity again. This is a coach who puts his players first, who answers to a higher sense of sportsmanship than that shown by the league.

This is a coach who reminds me of Peter and John.

In Acts 3 John and Peter performed a miracle, healing a man who had not walked in years. The amazed crowd asked how this happened and Peter answered with a phenomenal sermon on the Good News of Jesus Christ. The authorities were not pleased.

The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. They seized Peter and John and, because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day. (Acts 4:1-3.)

The next morning there was a trial of sorts, but it didn’t go as planned:

Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

After further threats they let them go. They could not decide how to punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened. For the man who was miraculously healed was over forty years old. (Acts 4:18-22.)

Doing what’s right because it’s right. Not following orders, because those orders violate a higher principle. Taking your lumps for doing so (like going to jail), because you know that ultimately you answer to God and not people. (Psalm 56:4; Joshua 22:22; Luke 16:15.)

Where have you seen this lately?

Would you do the same?


[10,000 interwebz, useful for absolutely nothing, to everyone who can identify the source of this verse without the use of the internet. 20,000 interwebz to everyone who uses the internet to do so:

Tall whisperin’ pines and hot maple syrup
Red-coated Mounties perched high in their stirrups
Hard rubber hockey pucks shot from the wing
These are a few of our favorite things!

Extra bonus points to anyone willing to send me an audio clip of themselves singing that so I can post it here on the blog.]

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12 Responses to Has Anything Good Ever Come Out Of Canada?

  1. Jeannie says:

    You got me all choked up, up here, Tim! I couldn’t unhitch my sled dogs, I was sniffling so much.
    🙂 I think that quote’s from an old Doonesbury comic … is that all of it, or are there more verses? Because trying to write more would be time well wasted.

    • Tim says:

      You get 10,000 interwebz, Jeannie! That’s the only verse Trudeau wrote. It was in the context of amnesty for draft dodgers who had fled to Canada, and why a couple of American would rather stay in the Great White North.

  2. Aimee Byrd says:

    The integrity that you are writing about here Tim is a rare blessing. After my daughter’s game was over a couple of evenings ago, she informed me that the coach from the other teams daughter was on her 2nd day with the stomach bug, and she threw up a couple of times during the game. I wasn’t close enough to the opposing teams dug out to know this was happening. She played the whole game while her dad coached! Where was the integrity of any coach present or any parent who was aware?! I would rather forfeit than make a girl play that sick.
    The thing is, no one wants to pay the price for integrity. Thankfully our Savior payed the costliest price for all of us who don’t come anywhere close to his holiness.

    • Tim says:

      You’d think the second vomiting session would have been enough to clue even the densest parent in to the fact that the kid should not be playing!

      Like you, Aimee, I’m glad we have a Parent who always knows how to take care of his children.

  3. Nick says:

    Unfortunately, I see this kind of hyper-demanding, unreasonable rule-making all the time in Youth Ministry. It mostly comes from the coaches. Plus, parents like to make sure their students are enrolled in two honors classes and two sports plus the school play simultaneously. That’ll keep them out of trouble. Oh, wait – Christian community? Wise leadership? Family discipleship? NO TIME!

    • Tim says:

      Yeah, we live in an over-committed community too. A lot of our contemporaries either didn’t understand or were really jealous – or both – when our kids were young and we refused to take part in a ton of activities. Saying no is easier the more I do it.

  4. Jeannie says:

    And then there’s the soccer mom who made headlines this week: she was vilifiied by coaches and other parents because the coaches told the kids to gather under a tree while a thunderstorm passed, and she adamantly refused. That WAS here in Canada. Yikes, time for a little Lightning 101.

  5. Indian religious texts talk about motive: the most noble looking act could lose its meaning if the motive was not noble. Example: you make a donation to “help the needy”, but it really is for your own benefit: to write off your own taxes. And even if the coach was fined, his motive has earned him good karma that will play out in a good way for his Supreme Consciousness.

    • Tim says:

      Thanks for the insights on how motive is seen vis a vis karma, Anu. Your example about the motive behind donations is really timely for today’s age, at least in the western world where tax codes provide benefits for such donations. Do you think that a person who is properly motivated in making a donation – truly concerned for those in need – can also take a tax write-off without suffering adverse spiritual consequences in your understanding of karma? (Sorry if I’m not using the terminology right. I’m kind of taking a stab at this.)

      Jesus spoke of motive as well, in Matthew 6. He listed a few things, like charitable giving, public prayer, and fasting and how they are all empty gestures if motivated by a desire for praise instead of a desire to honor God. And as Paul later put it in 1 Corinthians 13, if we do a lot of great acts but not out of love, then they are just like a bunch of clanging noisemakers and nothing more.


      • Tim, karma is understood as a bad thing in the west. In reality, it is a like a wheel set in motion. A human consciousness sets the wheel in motion by his or her own actions. Not to say that the Supreme doesn’t exist, but Supreme is seen as the Brahm – all that is and everything is Brahm – we aren’t Brahm, but we are just the Brahm – “Aham Brahmsi!” That is Sanskrit and a very powerful mahavakya – one of the Great Sayings from the Upanishads. I can’t explain it in such a short space, but in essence, it loosely translates as: I am Brahm, meaning that divinity is Brahm but it is within me as well, so I am the divinity. And one can recognize this divinity within through the path of Yoga – where you do not need an outside agent. So when your motive is correct and in my understanding, if you give a donation and NOT expect to save on the side, you are fine, but if the driving motive is EXPECTATION, that cancels the most noble deed not in the way you understand. I mean, you don’t get punished, because it is a wheel set in motion. If you donated, so you earn more wealth, you WILL earn more wealth, but your spiritual quotient will go down. But did you want to save the wealth for the benefit of treating your child’s disease? If yes, the wheel that you set in motion will reward you for that. But did you donate considering yourself an agent of the Brahm with the recognition that you are not the doer but just the agent? If yes, that is the supreme way of donating – no motive, no thought about the fruit of action, that motive is the highest, the Supreme. No one gets punished – you just reap what you sow – that is what karma is. Here, they have made karma a kind of a scary burden riding your back. It actually is very logical and interesting concept.

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