Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Skating Backwards

It had to have been over twenty years since I last put on a pair of roller skates but there I was Sunday after church, lacing them up for a few trips around the local skating rink. Of course, I wasn't on my own, we had a good size group from our church there as well, including the hundreds of others that were there for the open skate. Needless to say, this made for a large crowd in rather small place.

For me anyway, skating is like riding a bike. While I won't name any names, I can't say the same about most people in our church. It's a small miracle that we didn't have to call an ambulance after seeing some of the falls that I saw! This, of course, even included my very own kids. My oldest son Mitchell is a pretty good skater but my other four (I won't count Seth here since he's a little small to be skating) aren't quite so hot. As I was teaching my son Zachary by practically holding him up as he labored around the rink trying to make sense of shoes that have wheels on them (not very safe some might say), Zach and I were run over. What I mean is that Zach went flying and I nearly lost my balance and went down. And I saw it happening out of the corner of my eye, the guy was skating backwards of all things when he ran right smack into us. While he was very apologetic and concerned for Zachary (who was fine and managed to get right back up), I honestly wanted to let the guy have it. There I was trying to teach my six-year old how to skate and this guy thinks he can skate backwards - when he really can't - and runs right into us!

While my anger eventually faded, this guy skating backwards didn't. Throughout the entire three hours we were there, this guy skated backwards. The last time I saw him skating backwards, he ran right into another of our church members and actually went flying. At that moment, I have to admit that I was smiling (after checking to make sure he was alright of course).

I share all of this because I think a lot of us "skate backwards" in life. What I mean is that we take our eyes of God - who should be our focus - and we look in all the wrong places and skate in all the wrong directions for our fulfillment. The result is quite often a crash of some sorts. You've been there, I've been there so none of us are exempt from this. Nevertheless, there's one way to fix this. Quit skating backwards and turn around. God is there and he's waiting for us to focus on Him and Him alone.