Tuesday, June 21, 2011

This is What We Live For?

The images on the television screen have been disturbing. Young people looting stores, cars set on fire, people beaten up, others charging around in fits of alcoholic rage, others instigating more. The scene could have been anywhere in any number of countries across the world. But the riots that erupted on June 15th were in Vancouver after the final Stanley Cup hockey game and they were an embarrassment to the city and to Canada as a nation.

Perhaps that's why twelve thousand people turned out the next morning to help clean up the mess. That's why many of them wrote notes of disgust and apology on the plywood used to board up the smashed in windows. The police say there were instigators, those organized to create chaos, who arrived on the scene prepared with weapons and incendiaries. With a mob of hundreds of thousands of disappointed fans milling in the streets, many of whom had been drinking all night, it did not take much to ignite the riot that ensued.

Just a few days before, the excitement and hype about the hockey games had united us all here in Canada, as our hopes that the Cup would return to our country were fuelled by television advertising and emotion-charged music. One of the common slogans being used was, "This is what we live for." Sadly, the events after the Canucks lost the final game showed us what we are capable of when that statement is true, when there is nothing more charging our batteries and igniting our passions than a hockey game.

Our country, along with many others, is slipping down a steep slope of liberalism in which many of the morals of the Christian faith have been rejected and mocked. The climate of the day seems to be saying we don't need faith or hope or trust in God. We can do it all on our own. The events of June 15th show us the poverty of that position. Without God man disintegrates into a selfish angry being capable of despicable acts. When there is nothing to hold him back he will enter into destructive behaviour, behaviour like beating a man who is trying to stop him and feeling no remorse. Without God men become beasts. Without God there will be chaos and anarchy.

If all we live for is hockey, or money or fame or sex, or any of the other passions that so easily captivate us, there will be more riots in the streets of this country. I know the majority of people in Canada were shocked at what we saw on our television screens on June 15th. We should be shocked, shocked into realizing there is something terribly wrong in our society.

And only God can fix it.
Marcia Lee Laycock writes from central Alberta Canada where she is a pastor's wife and mother of three adult daughters. She was the winner of The Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One Smooth Stone and also has two devotional books in print. Her work has been endorsed by Sigmund Brouwer, Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and Mark Buchanan. The sequel to One Smooth Stone will be released in 2011. A collection of devotionals for writers has just been released at www.smashwords.com/books/view/58017. Visit Marcia's website at www.vinemarc.com


  1. Not being Canadian, I can not opine about the event in Vancouver...BUT your title and following observation that without God we are purposeless? YES YES YES! You have put it very clearly and forcefully and I thank you!

  2. I grieve with you over this reaction, but I have to laugh at apologies written on the plywood used to board up windows. Only in Canada! But you are so right that man was created to live for something of eternal value--not merely a sport whose trophy changes hands every year. I have been reading Jeanette Windle's Freedom's Stand. What a contrast as Christians in Afghanistan put their lives on the line for the right to believe. Something to live for is what one of the main characters is seeking.

  3. Yes, Marica. As a fellow Canadian I am grieved, angry and embarrassed by the Vancouver Hockey Riot. I'm also with you on the question of what we live for. Even when the Canucks were winning, I felt uneasy about hockey being touted as our supreme value. The same thing happened with the Olympics, sport took on the role of God. How I wish we could see that level of passion in our churches and charities!

  4. Marcia, what a powerful article! My daughter is a pastor's wife in Calgary, so I take anything Canadian very personally. Sadly, shallow values are not a Canadian exclusive. I pray daily for the conversion of our countries, especially those of us who were traditionally the beacons of Christianity sending missionaries to all parts of the world. Now they are sending missionaries to us.

  5. So glad you posted tyhis Marcia. As a fellow Canadian and a person who has lived in Vancouver, I too was deeply shamed. A group of instigators caused so much damage. Yet, I was encouraged to hear about the terrific number of churches that went downtown to clean up. If only more stories like that got to the news, showing the other side.