The Goal of My Life

Written by Paul Henderson

They call the winning goal I scored in the last game of the 1972 Canada/Russia hockey series ‘The Goal of the Century.’ I still get a warm feeling when I think about it.

Fear is one of the best motivators, and I was very afraid that I would be part of the team that lost to the Russians. Canada is not a big nation, but hockey is our game. Everyone on the team felt a responsibility to win. I had confidence that our team was better than the Russians, but it never entered my mind that it would be me that scored that last goal. It certainly gave me a stature that I would not have had without it. I wish I could have handled things a little better at that point, been more mature. If I had a spiritual dimension to my life at the time, I know I would have.

Becoming a star

Back then, I had fulfilled most of my boyhood dreams, and I knew I was a very fortunate and blessed individual. Yet there was a restlessness, a discontentment in the centre of my being that I could not ignore. I was angry, bitter and frustrated, and there were things about my life that I didn’t know how to handle. Things were not going well with the Maple Leafs, the team I was playing on, and I was having a lot of conflicts with the owner. Here I was playing in the NHL, doing something that I had always strived for, but I had become more bitter and angry than I had ever been in my life.

So I started drinking as a way to soothe the pain. I think if you are frustrated and angry, you look for a way out. You get with the boys and you try to ‘make merry,’ but you wake up the next morning and it’s there again.

Fortunately, a friend encouraged me to examine the claims of Jesus. He told me that I hadn’t taken care of my soul and had never really looked at what it was on the inside. That made sense to me, so I started to read the Bible and look into Jesus. Jesus claimed to be God, and He said He loved me and wanted to give me eternal life. After a two-year search, I became convinced He loved me and wanted me to get to know Him.

A big decision

However, it was a real struggle for me to become a Christian for a number of reasons. First, I had always prided myself in being a self-made man. I was used to being in control of my life. I was also afraid of what my friends would think. Third, I still looked at Christianity’s ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ and thought that it was so narrow. How could I be a ‘man’s man’ and a Christian, I thought. I was worried that I would have to give up too much. Finally, I read in the Bible that if I really loved God I wouldn’t be afraid to tell others about Him. But if I became a Christian I didn’t want to tell anyone about it. That led to a lot of frustration, because I was not able to step over the line.

One day I just couldn’t fight it any longer. I threw all my fears aside and I said to God: ‘I am fearful, and I don’t want to tell anyone about this.’ And then I gave my life to the Lord.

Since that day, I have never been the same. God has had a positive impact in every area of my life. Most importantly, He has taken away my anger and bitterness. My life certainly hasn’t been trouble-free. One of the most challenging times in my life was when my wife was in the hospital and we thought we were going to lose her. I was mad at God, but I realized that night that life is a gift from God, and I decided right then to place everything in my life in His hands. He had proven Himself to me over the years with His faithfulness, and I knew that I had no choice but to surrender my life to Him. Now the inner quietness, contentment and peace I experience on a daily basis assures me that His promise to love and care for me is true and real. And best of all, I look forward to spending eternity with Him.

Is this the life for me?

Take a look at your life. How would you describe it? Contented? Rushed? Exciting? Stressful? Moving forward? Holding back? For many of us it’s all of the above at times. There are things we dream of doing one day, there are things we wish we could forget. In the Bible, it says that Jesus came to make all things new. What would your life look like if you could start over with a clean slate?

Living with hope
If you are looking for peace, there is a way to balance your life. No one can be perfect, or have a perfect life. But every one of us has the opportunity to experience perfect grace through a personal relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ.

You can receive Christ right now by faith through prayer. Praying is simply talking to God. God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. Here’s a suggested prayer:

Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to you and ask you to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person you want me to be.

Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? You can pray it right now, and Jesus Christ will come into your life, just as He promised.

If you invited Christ into your life, thank God often that He is in your life, that He will never leave you and that you have eternal life. As you learn more about your relationship with God, and how much He loves you, you’ll experience life to the fullest.

30 Responses to “The Goal of My Life”

  • Trish Hicks says:

    I myself have come to the realization that what my dreams and goal in life may not be what God’s goal for me.I choose to seek the Lord my God more and more to find out just exactly what the goal is he has for my life.Jeremiah29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
    Waiting on and seeking the Lord to find just exactly his plan is for my life will be a life long journey.But i believe his (God’s)main goal for my life is to come to the fullness and stature of Jesus Christ.From then on it is just plain heavenly bliss.However that goal won’t be met until the Lord returns.

    so in the meantime i just choose and seek for what Gods plan is for me.Although i would love to know what that is,however my life is no longer my own.so what my desires are may not always meet God’s goal.So its just a wait and see kind a thing i believe.In the meantime i am just trying to live the christian life and live it fully in Christ but definitely leaning on the strength of God because i can sometime having a difficult time dealing with all that is going on in this universe.But i continue to pray,diligently.

    sincere thanks on my being able to share in this convo

  • Les says:

    Hi Paul, I have tried to contact you to help you with your Health Challenges. So far it has been to no avail. Please email me so I can help you. Take care. And Bless your Ministry.

  • Sharon says:

    i think my goal in live is to encourage people and to help people i remmember the goal between russia/canada you scored i was in grade school then

  • Vadim says:

    To moderator M. Jantzen

    Great work! Super reaction! Do you play hockey? :) Thanks a lot for
    cooperation. By the way, in 2007 we had “Power to change” project in Nizhny
    Novgorod, Russia. Great outreach, great impact to the city. I was one of the
    leaders of this project. May God bless you and your ministry richly, and
    Canada as well. :)

    Vadim Kruglikov
    personal information has been removed by administrator

  • M. Jantzen says:

    Hello Vadim, thank you so much for your passion for hockey ministry and for being such an encouragement to Paul. I had to remove your email address and last name because it’s our policy to not display personal information, But if Paul comments on this article again, saying that he is Ok with you contacting him, then I will send you both an email with each other’s contact info since I have access to that. Take care!

  • Vadim says:

    Dear Paul, I am praying for your healing. You need to come to Russia to help us to turn our nation to God. I am trying to do this through the hockey ministry here in Nizhny Novgorod. With God we will win!
    Vadim “Torpedo supporters club” non professional hockey team captain.

  • Denise says:

    Dear Paul
    I just caught your interview with Steve Paikin on the Agenda. Thank you for your humility and honesty; and it’s so nice to hear you talk about your love for your wife, family and friends.
    I want to say God bless you and I pray for your healing.
    I am so glad to know you are a Christ follower.

  • […] This is the story of Paul that he would really like you to hear. […]

  • Brenda Miller says:

    It is wonderful to see the many prayers sent in to Paul, as well as the tremendous faith that all of you share in our Lord God’s goodness and faithfulness to those of us who love Him. I join you in praying for Paul’s healing, and I thank each of you for your love, prayers, and many caring messages to him and his family. God bless each of you!

  • George Lund says:

    Paul:

    Just heard about your challenge on a CBC broadcast. Just thought I would tell you how dignified and positive your interview was for me. I remember watching your fantastic goals for Canada when I was in grade 2. It reminded me at the time of schools who would bring the tv into the class room to watch the moon landings!! For a child at the time the Canada Russia series was as big as it got.

    I wish all the best for you Paul and I know you will be around for many, many more years to help us celebrate on of Canada’s greatest moments..

    Best Regards

  • Les Eby says:

    Hi Paul,
    I really need to talk to you about your situation.There is hope,I’m pretty sure you haven’t explored this avenue yet. Email me when you get a chance. Thanks. Have a Blessed Day.
    Warmest Regards,
    Les

  • Doug says:

    Hi Paul;
    Although we have never met, my wife of over 50 years, and her sister remember you from high school days.

    We listened to a radio interview today, and your remarks of how this experience with cancer has brought you into an even closer relationship with the Lord–what an testimony to those who face mortality without hope, and what an encouragement for those who know the Lord as their Saviour, and face difficult and discouraging times,.
    How good it is to know, and trust the one who is in control. Praying for you both..
    Doug

  • Doris Beck Doris says:

    Thanks to all of you that have posted on this article. I know that Paul appreciates everyone’s prayers for his healing. His focus continues to be on sharing the amazing news of God’s forgiveness and what a difference God has made in his life to all who will listen.

    Charles, although Paul would probably be willing to sign your picture I don’t think you should trust it to the mail. Some day you might just have an opportunity to ask him to sign it in person.

  • charles says:

    Mr henderson….what an inspiration….i was young when the series occured…but i cant get enough of it…i watch replays…bought the box set….i bought the 8×10 of you scoring the goal……i never see you do a signing in the states…any chance i could mail it to you……all the best and prayers

  • karyn says:

    paul I hope you get better so for you cosson

  • Katie says:

    Paul,

    I have just learned of your commitment to the Lord, and also of your struggle with cancer. It is funny that many of the posts I have just read seem to be like court cases, naming people that are sick or struggling with life-threatening diseases – and then stating the reason why they should be healed (they have been faithful to support missions, they are good people, etc.). The point I would like to bring out is that we serve an amazing God who loves us so much and has made a provision for our healing not based on our goodness, but on His. So when we approach Him for healing or help for any problem in our life for that matter, we need to reach out to Him based on His goodness and love, not on our’s, and why we deserve it. I encourage all of us, including myself, to remember that, and to know that it is not of ourselves, it is the gift of God. It is His amazing grace, amazing because He extends it to us, even when we truly don’t merit it. And it is offered to whosoever will reach out and receive it.
    I believe with you for a healing, Paul, and know that God is able, believe you have received and you will have it. P.S. I am a cancer survivor myself so know God’s goodness firsthand. He is faithful.
    God’s richest touch of love,
    Katie

  • Herb Carr says:

    Dear Paul,was looking at the Star one day at random and saw the article where you said you were being treated for cancer. Have been praying for you.In Aug.of 97, you signed a couple of books for me at the HOF. I visited you at your office the next day over on Canmotor off Queensway,and you graciously spent 20 min.w/me and a friend. Told you that My wife andI were working w/a church plant in Mississauga. We now have a plant in Milton,On,Surrey,BC an soon to be Medicine Hat,AB. We have been w/Grace Brethren Canada for 14 yrs. now and have really been blessed to see God working in Canada. Thank you again for your tremendous work for Christ in Canada.
    Herb Carr

  • Dieter says:

    Hi Paul.
    I know this will find you in good spirits, as your enthusiasm for life is always infectious. Need to talk and have left letter at your G&CC.
    God bless,
    Dieter

  • Shari says:

    Dear Sir;
    I will remind myself of you when I wonder why my life seems such a mess. Struggling as a single Mom with a special needs child, without family around … with more difficult issues coming up with my lad; not having work/income; afraid of losing my home, etc.
    Shame on me. You are a wonderful example of looking the life here on earth in the face and not questioning why of this cancer and not being afraid.
    I don’t quite ‘get’ how you do it; it surely doesn’t seem fair that a good person that is a Christian can be stricken with something like this.
    I feel personally that I’m to blame for my own troubles. I try as hard as I can to not do so, but its the truth.
    I surely believe that God will help you; you have lived a great life. I hope you will be healed of this cancer. I can pray for my boy, so far things have become kind of worse, but I think that God will help the little children, especially these ‘special ones’.
    I will try to pray for you too, as I’m sure that God will heal those that have been good and have a good heart. I think God hears other peoples prayers. I don’t think mine, unless its for others. This isn’t self-pity, but shame on myself… Still I hope good people like you, and innocent young children can be healed so I keep on praying.
    I read about you in a paper, about how you were a Christian, and then now that you were on TV with your hockey jersey, I read some more and found out you had cancer. I’m so sorry.
    I thank you for sharing that you are a Christian, because I didn’t think ‘stars’ would admit to that… it makes me want to try more. No doubt there are so very many supporting you. I don’t know what has had me type this, I don’t recall doing this before. I think it was that your admitting to being a Christian somewhere really hit home somehow.
    I know you will take ‘good care’, and hope you are well.
    The very best to you.
    Shari

  • “Poems for Paul…”

    Please share with Paul.

    FROM MY NEW COLLECTION (As yet, unpublished)
    ANGEL POEMS
    COMPRISES ABOUT 200 ENTRIES SUCH AS THESE
    Copyright Frank Westcott, 2010. All rights reserved.

    “Poems for Paul…”

    Angels Walk the Earth
    Waiting for our Call
    *
    If we listen to our
    Hearts
    We
    Here
    The
    Hear
    of
    the
    Universe
    *
    Healing
    Is
    The
    Awakening
    Angel
    Within
    Us
    *
    Angels walk on water
    Even
    When
    There
    Is
    No
    Water
    *
    Birds are angels
    In
    Disguise
    Waiting
    For
    Us
    To
    Listen
    To
    Their
    Song
    *
    I Wait For My Angels
    To Sing
    Their Songs To Me
    That
    I
    Might
    Hear
    The
    Rhythms
    Of
    The
    Universe
    That I Might
    Sing
    My
    Song
    *
    Angels Walk
    Butterflies
    Over
    Flowers
    Dancing
    Rhythms
    Of
    Untold
    Stories…
    Waiting…
    Waiting…
    Waiting…
    *
    Angels are flowers
    Waiting
    No
    Longer
    *
    Evermore Evermore
    Angels
    Call
    Answered
    When
    Made
    Angels walk holding
    Your
    Hand
    Closely
    To
    Your
    Heart
    So
    You
    Don’t
    Miss
    A
    Beat
    *
    A Heart Beating Is
    An
    Angel
    Calling
    To Be
    H . E . A . R. D
    *
    Angels walk in the
    Invisible
    Where we
    Walk if
    We
    Want
    To hear
    *

  • Please pass along to Paul Henderson:

    Dear Paul,

    It was wonderful yesterday, a walk with our Angels, bumping into you as we were both leaving the CBC building.

    Be good to you. Angels are all around you now as they always have been. Sending you love, and know you are in my prayers as you walk “today”.

    Frank (Westcott)

  • Karen says:

    Hi Paul; you’ve accomplished things in your life that most people only dream of. Stay strong and get well. Karen,Reg and Sebastien Asselin.

  • quinn says:

    e-mail me back so i can get more info

  • quinn says:

    Hey Paul
    im doing a project on you right now i think you are amazing for what you have done for this country
    Quinn

  • quinn says:

    Hey Paul
    im doing a project on you right now i think you are amazing for what you have done for this country

  • Deborah Winston says:

    Hi Paul Henderson I was Sorry to Hear About your Cancer Situation,But it is Curable,You Must Not be Naive,I Say this to You in All Love,though,Like the word Says Not that you are But So Many People Perish by Lack of Knowledge,Hosea Says,and it’s So True-My Friend was Completely Cured of Cancer,by Christ YESHUA, through Jerry Baysinger,of lifehealingministries.com,Who Had Prostrate Cancer Himself,and Now Prays for Others,to Be Healed Of Cancers and Everything,,But Also I Got my Friend to Change His Diet and |Eat Fruits and Vegetables and Multivitamins,But Anyhow Also On The Jim Bakker Show,He Has a Book Called “The China Study”,Which was a 30 Million Dollar Study that Proves,Meat Causes Cancer and If You Change Your Diet to a Plant Based Diet,You Can Shut Off Cancer COMPLETELY-Documented Cures-Check it Out on the Jim Bakker Website,and on His Shows,Also Contact Joan Hunter,Who Has Been on It’s a New Day and on Sid Roth’s,It’s Supernatural,She Joan Hunter Had Breast Cancer Was CompLetely Cured of Cancer As Well BY Yeshua,and Now Prays for People and They Get Cured of Everything,MIRACULOUSLY,And Also Get Essiac,It Heals people OF Cancer Apparently,and Old Indian Remedy,Check it out on the Net, and You Can By it at Walmart for $35.,And I’ll Pray for You As Well,I Have Seen My Mom Healed Completely From a Stroke,When The Doctors Said they Had Done Everything they Could Do,She Recovered in Less than 15 Minutes and the Doctor was Speechless,and Dumbfounded,Saying that She Didn’t Understand It there wasn’t Even Any More Scars on Her Heart,Completely and Miraculously Healed Right in Front of My Eyes,All Glory to Yahshua Messiah,and My Moter in Law Was Dying and Had to Have a Bypass,and We Prayed and Prayed in TEARS and She Was Miraculously Healed at 72 and Now She’s 82 Years Old So I Have Seen The Real True Healing Power of Yeshua!,So Go For it,Quit eating Meat,Become a Vegetarian,and Drink Lots of Water and Fruit Juices,Eat Vegetables and Fruits,Eat Figs,Christ Did Apparently a New Study from Israel Says Figs Cure Cancer,If You Wanna Live,and of course You Do,So Get the Books and Contact,these Ministries,and Pray Always, God Works and Heals All The Time Every Single Day,He Never Stopped-Glory To God-Amen,Be Healed in YESHUA’S Mighty Name,Love Debbie

  • Rich Reynolds says:

    Hi Paul:

    Thought I’d drop you a line of encouragement. David (my son of 12) had to chose a modern day disciple for his bible class at school and he chose you. Let me know if you want to read it and I’ll send your way!

    We’ll be praying for you.

    Rich

  • Rusty Crozier says:

    Hi Paul,

    Just thought i would drop a line here. Hope you get it. I was reminded when i heard the news you were battling cancer of the times we spent on our knees in the Campus Crusade office in Etobicoke every Tuesday. Thanks for teaching me how to pray! I was also reminded of singing in the hospital room with Gord Barwell…during his last few weeks with us… he used to forget the lyrics and say, “not bad for a guy with a hole in his head!” We laughed and cried and at the same time, with deep peace, realized Gord would beat us all to heaven.

    I am praying for you, Elanor and your familyl, just as you taught me… that God would give you great courage to face life as he hands it to you. Fight on my friend, i dont think your song is done yet, or even out of tune! Deep blessings from Sandy and I, along with Chris and Kate.

    By the way, if you have a mentor who would like to take on mentoring Chris as he serves in Newmarket with the RCMP, he could use a strong Christian man to mentor him.

    Both in and because of Christ, your golf-crippled friend, Rusty

  • W. Ian Walker, says:

    Paul,

    I just heard the news that you are battling cancer and I wish you God’s deepest peace and assurance that the Lord is on your side. Giving that recent interview with CBC’s Mark Kelley, shows the Canadian public and the world…that you know that God is in control of your life. My wife Elaine and I will continue to pray for you.

    I enjoyed serving you the last time that you came into Blessings Christian Marketplace at the old Mississauga store…in 2006 and to reconnect again. We met when you were doing a speaking engagement in Hamilton and I purchased your first book for my brother…who is a big hockey fan and now his family of four are a real “hockey family.”

    Our mother, Doreen at 78, has just had a tumor removed in her intestinal area from a Hamilton hospital. We don’t know all of the details as of yet, and she may need “chemo.” Both of my parents are strong believers and as my mother recovers; I know that she’ll put her faith and trust in the Lord, as she always has in the past. They have been together for 55 years…and have been extremely blessed, supporting various missionaries and being a blessing to their Baptist church. I know that God will be looking out for my Mom’s best interest, as she has looked after God’s servants.

    I hope that I have another opportunity to connect with you. As your treatments continue, please come some time to the Healing Rooms at TACF…I’m sure that they would love to pray for you.

    God will give you strength as you fight this disease, you are His ambassador, and I know that God and the Holy Spirit can heal your disease.

    Many, Many Blessings,

    Ian Walker

  • Mandy says:

    I really like this article. I think we’ve all experienced chasing a dream, being totally 100% focused on making that dream happen, and when it does happen, somehow we are disappointed that we don’t feel fulfilled by it. But when we give our dreams to God, we can be filled and joyful in every situation, on the way to our dream, once we’ve achieved it, or even if the dream never happens.

    Like he had to accept God’s will in his wife’s illness, we need to give God our dreams and our loved ones, knowing that he will do what is best for us in the long run. I struggle with giving God control and trusting him to do what’s best, even if it doesn’t feel like the best to me at the time.

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