The Skating Party (Repost)


(Originally posted on 5/12/09)
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 to 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
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising 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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