Last weekend, I went roller-skating.
I love roller-skating for many different reasons. This time, though, I experienced the most joy when I watched a hundred people sitting in baby bathtubs set on skateboards being pushed around by someone else who is skating. People were falling out, rolling over, stumbling to get in, tripping to get out. It was hysterical. Perhaps the biggest highlight was the laughter. Everyone was rolling with looks of glee and delight plastered over their faces.
The most interesting bathtub rollers, though, were those who seemed to manage it by themselves. By way of pushing an empty tub and jumping in and then rolling themselves along, or by rotating their skates on the floor and using their arms to get going, these skaters were masters at their game. They not only had speed but poise and pizazz.
I love skating. I love that I can go to this old warehouse, step into a time lapse, don some black skates with wings, and roll.
I love that there are no bars around the edges and that you can listen to really cheesy music and enjoy it! I love that you can play crazy games and win lolly prizes while grooving along dancing with your arms and singing at the top of your lungs to music like YMCA and the Grease re-mix.
The thing that I love the most though is the fluidity of the movement. Moving with grace and composure, around and around, flowing side-to-side, up and down, on one foot and sometimes even backwards (when I’m feeling brave). I love the meditative, repetitious motion of going around and around, while moving faster than a walk, but with the rolling motion of wheels.
I love the way you can weave through people.
I don’t love the way you sometimes crash into them.
All the weaving and crashing got me thinking about what it’s like to live. I often feel this is how I spend my days: weaving and crashing into events, people, and objects.
Life is full of obstacles that I can get caught up by, that I can crash into. Obstacles: untrue thoughts in my head, listening to the old record player of self-doubt and lies. Temptations: choosing to give in to sin, rather than choosing to live by the truth. Activities: things that are keeping me ‘busy’ rather than focused on what I should really be doing. People: those who make demands of me, sometimes rightly so, and other times not so much. Obstacles like homework and karate, Season 4 of Suits, and banks.
Jesus weaved through the crowd. He was led by the Spirit, and although people were out to persecute him, he weaved through without being caught up.
When I have my balance, I can weave through the obstacles on my skates. This feeling of weaving is freeing, liberating, adrenaline rising, heart pumping, and satisfying. Like Jesus, we can also weave through the obstacles of life if we are led by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.
While I was skating, I imagined that my roller-skates were like the Holy Spirit, and that He was in control. As long as I let Him lead me, follow His direction, and keep my eyes out for the obstacles, I can weave – the speed and sense of liberation is mine. Trusting in the grace given to me through Jesus, one thousand may fall at my side, and ten thousand at my right hand, but I will continue to roll, being enabled to weave through the crowd.
I love to skate because I get this sense of soaring. Soaring above the madness. Of being more than I am than when it’s just ‘me on feet’.
This is how life can be following Jesus. Being led by the Spirit, seeking to be bold and fulfilling the Great Commission, is when we, as Christians, have that sense of soaring. However God has gifted us to be disciples in action – whether it’s through sharing the Gospel (my personal ‘high’), having conversations that impart words of life, comforting someone, showing kindness or generosity – in whatever way God uses you, be bold and act accordingly. Allow the Holy Spirit to lift you up on eagle’s wings. Nothing is impossible for him who believes.
Those skaters in the bathtubs who were rolling themselves around, with poise and pizzazz? I pursue that kind of skating. A skating that has confidence and boldness to build up the speed while pushing the bathtub, jumping in and just allowing it to roll.
I pray that I might roll in the Spirit like that. With confidence, boldness and in the liberty that is mine in Jesus Christ.