Monday, April 7, 2008

Called to be "The Berserk"

Watching the Stars battle the San Jose Sharks yesterday was exciting. I was disappointed when after the first period the Sharks were up 2-0. However, my boy Steve Ott (with whom I presumptuously claim some distant relation), was up to his usual tactics of getting under the skin of the opposition and eventually had the desired effect. His intensity for the game and annoyance to the opposing team was instrumental in interrupting the Sharks focus on the game of hockey. The Sharks' concentration devolved from a focus on winning the game into a focus on dealing with him. He made himself more of the Shark's target than the goal. His disruption of the Sharks' collective focus paid off. The Stars stayed on the offensive and won 4-2. This is good momentum to take into the playoffs.

Although I have no credible relation I can claim with Steve Ott (besides the same last name), I like to suppose kindred spirits with someone who inspires intensity and passion in the team by his example. Steve reminds of the 1989 comedy "Erik the Viking" starring Tim Robbins, John Cleese and Mickey Rooney. There was one member of the Viking clan that was born and raised to be "the berserk." What this meant was that at a certain point in the thick of battle "the berserk" was to intentionally loose his mind and drop all vestiges of fear, rationality, caution and logic as he spun into a whirlwind of combative destruction. By being the designated "berserk," he was charged with not only bringing critical wrath upon the enemy at a opportune moment, but also with inspiring renewed passion and intensity among fellow Vikings during battle. A well tuned and timely "berserk" could influence the direction of the battle for the good of the clan.

For a long time I've felt called to be "The Berserk." In many different settings it seems than God bred me to bring intensity and passion to a situation or enterprise at crucial time. This played out in Kung Fu many times, but also showed itself while working in a mill in Red Bluff, CA. From working as a janitor at a church in the Northwest, to being a library aid at Dallas Theological Seminary, my function as "the berserk" was necessary at select times. Even now, some of the "berserk" role is necessary in my duties as a pastor. This has been my place in many "clans" (companies or churches).

For this reason I feel kindred spirits with Steve Ott. However, having the same last name is just gravy. It could be any name on the jersey and I would gravitated toward being a fan of "the berserk" on any given sports team. For now, an Ott is called to be the berserk on my local hockey team, and an Ott is also called to be the berserk in a local church. And I find the parallels really fun. When Steve scored the last goal, I flew out of my seat and cheered loudly. The Berserk really had made a difference this game, and I want to also.

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