Happy Thanksgiving, Canada!

[From the archives, in honor of Canada’s Day of Thanksgiving.]

***

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 the following 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!

Unlimited 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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9 Responses to Happy Thanksgiving, Canada!

  1. Aimee Byrd says:

    I remember this article, Tim. It’s a rare and valuable find when someone takes a stand like this. Part of me wants to say, “these days,” but your example from Scripture shows that isn’t the case. It has always been a difficult thing to do, which is why it is so valuable and admirable. This kind of fortitude is what we need to look for in leadership: someone who is willing to take the lumps for the right thing. I always tell my kids that there are consequences not only for bad decisions, but good ones too. Too often, we think that doing the right thing, or good decision making, will be followed with immediate blessings. But are we willing to do the right thing when the blessings don’t look the way we think they should?

    • Tim says:

      Consequences for the good and the bad choices we make – that’s a valuable lesson for out kids, and one that is found over and over in Scripture as well as in the world around us. That Canadian coach really did set a fine example for the kids on his team and for their parents as well.

  2. Jeannie says:

    On behalf of the entire country, thanks for the Thanksgiving wishes, eh?

  3. Mary Anne says:

    Years ago I went to the Stratford Ontario Theatre Festival. Great trip, wonderful place. Had some memorable scones for breakfast one morning. 8-9 Would LOVE to visit Canada again. Happy Thanksgiving to our neighbors in the north!

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