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Why All of Us are Like My Hockey Bag

Reflection on 1 Peter 1 – A Priceless, Life-Changing Inheritance of Hope

“(When) they hear me tell them whose it was and what it was used for, and the…voices changed quickly from jeering and…ridicule to awe, honor, even reverence.” – Jeff Gamache

My grandpa and grandma Gamache were never wealthy.  They grew up in the forests of Minnesota in logging and farming families, barely making ends meet.  They were not a Christian family but both my grandpa and grandma came to know the Lord through a Billy Graham Crusade in their 40’s and from there dedicated their lives to serving God.  Both my grandpa and grandma served in the US Air Force in WWII.  They were moved all over parts of the United States and when they moved from place to place all their earthly belongings had to fit into this bag.

As you can see, this bag is rather small, dirty and non-descript.   I was given this bag as a youngster as part of my inheritance by my grandpa.  It carried my hockey equipment, it still does.  Typically, when I walk into the hockey dressing room, I get heckled for having such an “old ratty” bag.  But then they see the US Air Force insignia and they hear me tell them whose it was and what it was used for, and the tone of the voices change quickly.  It changes from jeering and good natured ridicule to awe, honor, even reverence.

I am reminded of this “old ratty bag” and my experience in so many hockey dressing rooms when I read 1 Peter 1:3-4.  Peter says,

“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead.  Now we live with great expectation (hope), and we have a priceless inheritance – an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.”

Essentially all of us are like my old hockey bag, we are “kind of ratty, non-descript, dirty, decaying” but because of the truth of the gospel we have great hope, we have an indescribable inheritance.  Our lives that are incredibly ordinary and even messed up can be turned into something awe inspiring, genuine, more precious than gold, eternal, because of “whose we are” and “what was done for us”.  The beauty of Christ is that He is in the business of taking “ordinary, messed up” you and me and giving us eternal life.  When we fully grasp the depth of His mercy and the hope that is offered, we live differently.  Peter says it this way in verse 22,

“Love each other deeply, with all your heart.”

My prayer for each of us is that we would grasp our rich inheritance.  That we would allow God’s great mercy and hope to overwhelm us in such a way that our “ratty old hockey bag of a life” would be changed into one that loves deeply, inspiring an awe and reverence worthy of our Saviour.

Jeff Gamache is Director of Athletics for TWU Spartans. He was born in Three Hills, A.B. and grew up on Quadra Island B.C.. He has lived in Langley and Abbotsford, B.C., and has visited every continent and over 30 countries except Australia and Antarctica. Jeff currently lives in Langley, B.C. on his family Christmas tree farm, Fraser Fir Farm.