To start over, you have to let go of past regrets

There’s a tale behind many a battered hockey puck. Recovered from the net after a milestone goal perhaps, or deflected into the outstretched hands of a delighted fan caught, hopefully, without injury.

There’s a tale behind many a battered hockey puck. Recovered from the net after a milestone goal perhaps, or deflected into the outstretched hands of a delighted fan caught, hopefully, without injury.

Since without a deadline nothing would get done, I had to do some serious clearing before the kids arrived home this Christmas. While sorting and pitching some of my mother’s possessions two years after her demise, I came across The Puck she had stashed away.

The story behind it is one of unspoken guilt and forgiveness.

Like many young Canadians I spent countless hours on our backyard rink. I was, you understand, on track to assume Dave Keon’s number 14 sweater and play for the Toronto Maple Leafs. But my wrist shot needed some work. As a training technique, I would tip over an old wooden table on the ice to serve as both goal and goalie and try to wrist a shot as high as I could.

It was late afternoon. I was diligently practicing when perhaps my best and highest wrist shot to that point in my life nicked the top of the table, soared and shattered the kitchen window.

I froze.

Inside the kitchen my mother was getting ready to entertain the Anglican Church Women that night. Silently we both felt the gravity of the situation. She knew it was an accident and, I believe, intuitively knew the depth of my remorse without having to drive home the point of what had just happened with a scolding.

In short order the shards of glass were cleared and a piece of cardboard was cut and inserted in the window against the elements.

I’m not sure what was discussed that night as the ladies met. My mother likely regaled them with the tale of the hockey puck to explain the cardboard but doing it with more delight than distain for me, good humour being her hallmark.

As I said, recovering that puck a couple of weeks ago was a reminder of the guilt and pardon exchanged without words for what might be nothing more than a fluke. Which brings me to the approaching end of the year.

Life does flow in reverse. Life goes on. I can’t raise my kids again, I can’t re-pastor my first church, there’s no chance for another chance. So we resolve at this time of year to change future behaviour. Drop old habits and pick up new ones.

But if the New Year is to be new for us, it calls for stiff resolution to not only chart a new course but also to scrape the corrosive bitterness of past mistakes and misdeeds by a forgiving and forgetting steeped in the notion that sometimes things happen. No malice or ill-intent. Things happen. That’s it.

The incident which may have devastated you at the time was perhaps no more than a fluke of nature or an errant hockey puck from the stick of someone just trying to take a better shot.

Bob Ripley is a syndicated columnist and pastor in London, Ont.

Just Posted

Red Deer church donates to Safe Harbour

It was all about helping those in need at Safe Harbour in… Continue reading

Former firefighter with PTSD sues Syncrude over suspended benefits, dismissal

CALGARY — A lawsuit filed by a former firefighter and paramedic against… Continue reading

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

HALIFAX — Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi may have hoped to quietly disappear from… Continue reading

Democrats aren’t buying Trump’s shutdown-ending ‘compromise’

WASHINGTON — In a bid to break the shutdown stalemate, President Donald… Continue reading

Updated: Red Deer welcomes 2019 Canada Winter Games Team Alberta

About 250 Alberta athletes are participating in the Games

Students seen mocking Native Americans could face expulsion

One 11-minute video of the confrontation shows the Haka dance and students loudly chanting

Curtain rising Sunday night on total lunar eclipse

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The celestial curtain will be rising soon on… Continue reading

At 30-day mark, shutdown logjam remains over border funding

WASHINGTON — Thirty days into the partial government shutdown, Democrats and Republicans… Continue reading

Holocaust victims buried after remains found in UK museum

LONDON — The remains of six unidentified Holocaust victims were buried in… Continue reading

Giuliani: ‘So what’ if Trump and Cohen discussed testimony

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani left open Sunday the… Continue reading

Photos: Rocks fly at 37th Annual Oilmen’s Bonspiel

Twenty-nine teams gathered at the Pidherney Curling Centre in Red Deer for… Continue reading

Death toll reaches 79 in Mexico fuel pipeline fire horror

TLAHUELILPAN, Mexico — People in the town where a gasoline explosion killed… Continue reading

With Trump out, Davos chief eyes fixing world architecture

DAVOS, Switzerland — The founder of the World Economic Forum says U.S.… Continue reading

Mexican pipeline explosion kills 71, leaves nightmare of ash

TLAHUELILPAN, Mexico — Gerardo Perez returned Saturday to the scorched field in… Continue reading

Most Read