I went ice skating this week with a few friends. It was a terrifying experience. I hate ice. Actually, I hate falling, and I’m well aware of the fact that falling on ice is about the most painful thing one can do. Seriously, my fear of falling on ice (has a lot to do with how I learned to skate) has to be unhealthy, but nonetheless it’s there. To answer your question, yes, of course I fell. However, somewhere in the process of trying to skate and talk at the same time, I found a sort of rhythm and lived to tell the tale (melodrama free of charge today). And in the day or so after, it struck me how much like life ice skating is.
Ice skating basics
Objective one (it’s a rule, if you ask me) is to stay on your feet. Doesn’t matter how fast you’re going. Doesn’t matter how pretty it looks. You want to maintain a perpendicular orientation to the ice. Objective two is to keep moving. Again, doesn’t matter how fast you’re going, as it’s more about your own comfort zone. One foot at a time, methodically propel yourself along this vast sheet of ice. Objective three is (rather plain, but needs be stated) to keep moving in the right direction. I have a hard enough time knowing there is a glassy sheet of ice waiting to pummel me at the first false move, I don’t need to add dodging humans into this potentially catastrophic situation. But seriously, you don’t need to be the one person skating around like an unguided rocket across the ice. No one likes that person. Can you tell it’s been a while since I last went ice skating?
Ice skating ridiculousness aside
Ice skating has a lot to do with life. Really, at the end of each day we’re taking stock of the fact that we’re still left standing. There are a lot of days where it feels ugly, uncoordinated, even as if we’re failing. Yes, we get knocked down, but standing is only an objective. The only difference is that when we fall in life, God is waiting with to pick us up, arms outstretched. Faith is about moving forward. Though at any point we may slip and fall, we continue putting one foot in front of the other. So we crash to the ice, we get back up and carry on. As we push on, we continually reorient ourselves toward the Father, navigating all the curves and obstacles. All the while, we trust that He is good, guiding us toward the end with a loving and caring heart, desiring to see us only succeed and grow.
Alright, so maybe ice skating wasn’t the scariest experience ever, but that’s something I can work on for next time. Faith, like ice skating, requires constantly adjusting to the slippery terrain underneath, the obstacles all around. This life is all about pressing onward toward the Father that is cheering each foot as it grazes the ice. He is encouraging every ounce of faith gained by His keeping us in safety and picking us up after each tumble. It’s scary and we don’t always know we’ll make it to the other side of the rink, but He is faithful. He is love and, though we feel in danger and out of control, that love will never fail us.