The Skating Party

I wrote this post last Saturday. I don’t know what came over me. I was sitting there watching my daughter skate, when I had an overwhelming desire to write about it. I wasn’t going to post it here. Mostly because it is such an obvious rip-off of Billy Coffey’s writing style, and it’s not like I even come close to being that kind of writer. So I sent it to Billy for grins. He asked me to post it. Actually, he TOLD me to post it. And you know me. I always do what I’m told. So, here’s my story, subtitled “Billy Coffey couldn’t come up with a title”.

I’m sitting on the top row of bleachers at an arena with a skating rink right smack in the middle. I was smart enough to wear jeans, not smart enough to wear sleeves. I am freezing. I hate being cold and I am very uncomfortable. Still, I find myself smiling.

I am watching my daughter attend her first ice skating party.

After 30 minute of professional instruction on how best not to crack your tailbone, the pack of ten 7 and 8 year old girls are released onto the open ice. They are cautious at first, clinging to the edge of the rink, gradually increasing in speed and confidence. Eventually, my daughter makes her way to the center of the ice – a proud moment for her and for her mama. She is surrounded by her little friends, some cling to her and cause her to fall down, other more experienced skaters help her up and encourage her to keep going. Ten little girls with varying degrees of skill and natural abilities. Yet, there they are, skating together and having fun.

My journey of faith has been much like this little skating party. Still is.

When I first gave my life to Christ, I greatly benefited from the guidance of mature Christians. They lead me to which scriptures I should study first and were great examples of how to live. I was excited to join the party, but still clung cautiously to the safety and comfort of my old self. I suppose I still do that to a certain extent.

I was sort of like those little girls grabbing on for support. The problem with that is, if you grab onto someone who is only slightly more steady than you are, often you cause them to slip and fall as well. It is best to reach out to someone with a more mature, stable faith.

As I became more familiar with His Word and more involved in church, I became more confident. I was no longer clinging to others. I’m not sure when it happened, but at some point I became one of the ones who helped people up. Not because I am even close to what most would consider a model Christian, but because I began to understand the depth of His grace. Having lived a life far apart from God, I hope this level of understanding gives me compassion for those who are struggling to understand it. That’s what I pray for, anyway.

I am venturing out to the middle of the rink, knowing that my friends will be there to help me up when I fall. Knowing that ultimately, God is in control. I’m proceeding with cautious optimism, with faith and hope in Him.

I will probably never be a great skater with impressive spins and jumps. The times in my life when I have allowed myself to believe that? That’s usually about the time I get plowed down by the Zamboni machine…

The Fellowship of the Believers
42They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

(Acts 2:42-47)

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21 Responses to “The Skating Party”

  1. jasonS May 12, 2009 at 1:41 am #

    >I wouldn’t sell yourself short- I think you do more spins and jumps than you think. That was a really great post!

  2. Helen May 12, 2009 at 1:54 am #

    >Great post, Katdish. As for copying Billy’s style…they do say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery…(says the woman who wants to make WWKD bracelet…okay not really. I’m yanking your chain…GEt it? Bracelet…chain..)
    I love the analogy. We do become stronger as we grow. And sometimes life causes us to get a little unsteady, but if we have surrounded ourselves with a good Church family, then we find people who help to steady us until we can float with God’s grace again without leaning on someone else….

  3. Annie K May 12, 2009 at 8:07 am #

    >Nothing wrong with others (read: Billy) rubbing off on you. That was a great story/analogy.

    So now we have to come up with bracelets…WWKW..WWBW..WWHW…(what would ** write)… 😉 (that’s me smilin’ at you Katdish).

  4. Billy Coffey May 12, 2009 at 8:19 am #

    >Take a bow, katdish. That was awesome.

  5. sherri May 12, 2009 at 8:20 am #

    >Much better for Billy to rub off on you than the other way around! (tee hee).

    See, he HAS had a good influence, this was beautiful.

    And I can’t believe you actually did what someone told you to do! Are you softening up in your old age?

  6. Beth May 12, 2009 at 9:03 am #

    >Love it. Superb analogy. And you get bonus points for including the zamboni.

    And did Sherri just call you old?

    It’s time for a Sherri vs. Katdish skate-off….

  7. katdish May 12, 2009 at 9:33 am #

    >Jason – thanks. I just need to keep the zamboni machine in the back of my mind, lest I forget who deserves the credit.

    Helen – Well, since I’m going to copy your Chicago post, I hope that you are flattered.

    Annie – Thanks for the kind words. As for the emoticon, Here’s one for you: ( | )

    Beth – not to worry. Sherri is now and will always be older than me. Besides, my innate immaturity makes me younger than her anyway.

    Sherri – the amount of influence a person has on me is in direct proportion to my inability to shock or embarrass them.

    Billy – you’ve really got Sherri snowed. Well played, my friend.

  8. Candace Jean July 16 May 12, 2009 at 11:43 am #

    >This took me back to my daughter’s ice skating days. Thanks for the trip down memory lane, and so beautifully written.

    The subtle and not-so subtle parallels between the two of you continue to amaze me. She, after many falls and much coaching and support, became a beautiful skater. She learned to skate backward with ease and grace. And today, on the eve of her 30th birthday, I thank God for her walk to Him that had many stumbles, falls, and face-plants, but has landed her in a position of Christian leadership and mentoring. She continues to skate backwards the way you’re supposed to – knowing exactly where she’s been, but focusing only on where she’s going, trusting that which she cannot see, and relying on her faith to continue on the slippery and unpredictable ice rink we call life.

    Now move that zamboni out of her way. I’m no longer the boss of her but she’s still my daughter.

    If by “ripping off Billy” you mean “make Candy cry,” you are guilty. I heart you Katdish. And I’m totally ripping this off for her birthday tomorrow in some way. If I can keep the snot out of my keyboard, that is.

  9. Peter P May 12, 2009 at 12:02 pm #

    >Ooo, look at you, all growed up into a Billy-Coffey-like blogger.

    That was awesome! 2,462 more like that and you could write a book!

  10. Stacey May 12, 2009 at 1:23 pm #

    >I enjoyed this post and I think that all believers can relate to this analogy. Even as we grow in our walk, I think there will always be times when we need others to help us along! And hopefully the time will come when we can return the favor.

  11. Marni May 12, 2009 at 1:48 pm #

    >This is a great analogy 🙂 Beautiful post!!

  12. Julie May 12, 2009 at 2:22 pm #

    >This is a great post. I loved it and the picture you gave. I love that God speaks to us in the everyday things of life. It’s amazing isn’t it?

    Personally I think the more you “dance” with Him the more spins you will make… Cause I believe Jesus likes to spin us around for the world to see…

    Skate on sister…. it’s beautiful how He picks us up, puts us back on our feet and turns our lives around.

  13. Steph @Red Clay Diaries May 12, 2009 at 2:23 pm #

    >Um, hello? Did I dial a wrong url? How did I wander into this deep and serious and meaningful blog?

    You mean this IS HLAC? Where are the chickens? Are they skating? I thought chickens were more into air hockey.

    I got a fever, and the only cure is more chicken.

    Oh, I’m kidding. This was a great post! You could even do more of these every once in awhile and not lose my atten– ooh! shiny!

  14. Annie K May 12, 2009 at 3:10 pm #

    >Uh Katdish…I think it’s (.)(.) (Is that right Helen?)

  15. Nick the Geek May 12, 2009 at 4:00 pm #

    >So if I leave snark here I don’t have to listen to you … um I mean you’ll stop talking to me? I’ll remember that.

  16. tonyyork May 12, 2009 at 5:30 pm #

    >I loved the analogy cause metaphors are an awesome way to get a point across.

    Billy who? (just kidding Billy!)

    I always appreciate how good writing can make a longer post seem so quick to read. That’s talent.

  17. Carol @SheLives May 12, 2009 at 8:32 pm #

    >As a person who has never successfully skated around an ice rink without placing her tailbone in serious peril, I can say, unequivocally, that post rocked!

    Submit it to something. Like some women’s devotional book or something.

    (Watch out, Billy Coffey!)

  18. sharilyn May 13, 2009 at 12:30 am #

    >love the post… and LOVE the Zamboni!!! i really liked your analogy here and the way you wrote it…

    ps. you’re going to give billy a big head with all this hero-worship, if you’re not careful!! 🙂 (we don’t want him to grow out of that sassy hat he wears!!)

  19. Wendy May 13, 2009 at 12:45 am #

    >Yes, yes, it was a lovely post. I laughed, I cried, but most of all, it made me think. But really, it was a great post. Very Coffeyesque. Now can you please post something that will make me spit my venti Caramel Machiato at my screen to prove that you haven’t been taken over by aliens?

  20. mandy May 14, 2009 at 3:57 pm #

    >Wow. Beautiful post… I remember skating parties growing up. And the first winter here in Boston, with two ice storms that left our parking lot under a sheet of frozen slippery mess. ahhh…. skating slipping sliding growing.

    You’ve gone all serious on us with these posts, though!

  21. katdish May 14, 2009 at 4:23 pm #

    >Mandy –

    Never fear…tomorrow’s post is my twitter update. It will be completely ridiculous.

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