O Canada

Today, I’m happy to share another guest post by Tim Fall.  I always appreciate his willingness to share his thoughts!


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, folks – the cool Maple Leaf flag, all those Dudley Do-Right cartoons I watched, or this guy’s impressive spoken-word performance at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games opening ceremonies. Whatever it is, I’m hooked.

Originally I planned to use this great winter headwear as further proof that Canada is all kinds of awesome. (You know you want one). But here’s something even more impressive, although it’s the coach and not the hockey league authorities that deserve our admiration. 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 you 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?

[Biography: Tim is a California native who changed his major three times, colleges four times, and took six years to get a Bachelor’s degree in a subject he’s never been called on to use professionally. Married for over 24 years with two kids (one in college and one just graduated, woo-hoo!) his family is constant evidence of God’s abundant blessings in his life. He and his wife live in Northern California. Tim guest posts on other peoples’ blogs, but is too lazy to get a blog of his own.]

10 responses to this post.

  1. Thanks for giving me a spot here at KC, Kim!



  2. Posted by housewifetheologian on July 7, 2012 at 5:19 am

    Tim, you’ve really struck a chord with me in this article. I’m actually posting an article about children’s sports on Monday–my love of them, and how they have gotten out of hand in my opinion. My middle child is on an all star softball team & you would think they were going to the Olympics with the way they are making these 10-yr-olds work. I would have never agreed to the commitment had I known her whole summer would be consumed with it (of course they had to go and make states).
    And, we are studying Acts in Sunday School. We just finished with that healing episode.
    Great article.


    • Posted by Tim on July 7, 2012 at 10:35 am

      I know what you mean about the demand of kids’ sports and other activities, Aimee. We committed early on that we would not enroll in sports at the start of the school year (baseball, soccer and roller hockey are year-round here), so that our son and daughter weren’t overwhelmed. This rule lightened up as they got older, but I think we are seeing them make wise commitment decisions now that they are young adults.


  3. Oh my goodness, I can’t believe that story! That poor coach.

    Great application, Tim!


  4. Not long ago, I saw a 60 Minutes piece about a well-placed whistle-blower who exposed the poor financial practices of one of the big financial institutions. I can’t remember the details now, but I do remember that all the bigwigs who lost their jobs when the institution went under were all comfortably ensconced in other cushy jobs at other banks and such.

    The whistle-blower had been unemployed for months and months.

    The injustice of the situation rankles, but the courage to do the right thing though it would prove to be incredibly costly makes that whistle-blower a hero in my mind. I’m offering a prayer that he will be employed by a company who values his ethics and heroism, if he hasn’t already gotten a new job.


    • Posted by Tim on July 8, 2012 at 10:50 pm

      I am so thankful that our God is just, Michelle, because there is so much like this that goes on. Sometimes it is crystal clear that life’s not fair. I’ve read the end of the book, though; God wins.

      Hallelujah to that!



  5. Posted by KSP on July 11, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    As an educator, I whole heartedly applaud that coach–and the students! May their tribe increase (and show up in my classroom)!


    • Posted by Tim on July 11, 2012 at 10:00 pm

      Back in 1998 our local school, UC Davis, had an outstanding year in Division 2 basketball. They went to nationals and as they made their way up the brackets the commentators started mentioning how the players were using every spare moment to study since they were facing finals on their return. Apparently the other teams at that level were not as academically minded. Davis ended up taking the whole thing, becoming the national champions at the Division 2 level. The team members all made it to their other finals – their exams – fully prepared too.

      Professors here in Davis don’t worry if their student athletes are putting in the work in the classroom. Maybe that’s why the Canadian coach’s story resonated so deeply with me.



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