Thursday, June 16, 2011


I am a mixture of emotions today. I am very happy that the Vancouver Canucks Hockey team gave us such a great season of entertainment. I am thankful that I get to live in the great city of Vancouver. Yes, I did want to celebrate a Stanley Cup victory with my friends in this city or celebrate a great second place showing. I remember other good celebrations where people cheered and spontaneously sang "Oh Canada" on the balconies and streets of downtown Vancouver. I wanted to wave across the street at my neighbours and have them feel joy.

I am sad that anarchists and other people with empty lives have hurt the image of Vancouver. People who think that rioting, or hockey, or alcohol , or marijuana will fill their lives are sadly lost. They do not realize that they have a "God-shaped-hole"# in their lives that is aching to be filled.

A few hours before the hockey game started last night I was thinking about these words by Dallas Willard: "Feelings are, with a few exceptions, good servants. But they are disastrous masters."* I thought about how many people in Vancouver needed to put a little emotional distance between themselves and the Canucks so that they would avoid being ruled by their emotions. The rioting in Vancouver last night had little to do with hockey but it did have a lot to do with people being ruled by emotions.

We dare not deny our feelings and we dare not be ruled by them. If we identify the underlying condition that gives rise to the feeling we can assign feelings their appropriate place. Then our actions will be guided by "insight, understanding, and conviction of truth" rather than the feelings of the moment. For further understanding of these principles I highly recommend Renovation of the Heart.

#Blaise Pascal coined this concept and C.S. Lewis made it popular.
*Willard, Dallas. Renovation of the Heart: Putting On the Character of Christ. Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2002, p. 122.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Keith--- These clowns pretty well undid all the Olympic goodwill in one night.
Lloyd (Clearwater)

Mark (Vancouver) said...

From everything I've heard about the riots, the anarchists (or whatever label they want to use), got things started, but then a lot of 15-22 year old males joined in.

I'm trying to imagine why they did. Prior to the event you've got a lot of testosterone and immaturity. Then during the day booze decreases the self-control. Then the emotions of bitter disappointment and anger (I know I sure felt them). Then incitement and mob anonymity. And presto - an 18 year-old from Maple Ridge with a sports scholarship in the US torches a police car, significantly altering the course of his life.

So yeah, allowing one's emotions to drive the bus rather than exercising some self-control.

I have to say I was very touched by the way a lot of Vancouverites responded the next day. Very touched.