The Divine in Skateboarding

Photo: Andrew Van Gundy

There are two ways in which we mostly experience God: one is through creation – God created everything so God is in everything; and the second is through internal feeling – the good feeling we get when we skate and land super clean kickflips down flights of stairs, or when we feel a cool breeze on a hot day.  All good feeling in life can become a mystical experience that strengthens our connection with God.  If every trick we land and every good feeling we get reminds us of the goodness of God, then skateboarding and many other things we do and feel can become a form of worship unto God.  Even something as simple as feeling a cool breeze can feel like God is touching us and can become a form of praise and worship.  Since God created everything and is in everything, then God is also in skateboarding.

The characteristic of God as a warrior, and His title in scripture as “The Conquering Lion of Judah,” is something that skateboarders can relate with.  Skateboarders are like warriors in a sense that we are all out to conquer tricks and obstacles; progression in skateboarding is like conquering territory.  Pulling a few tricks on a handrail or down a flight of stairs, doing something technical on a ledge or a manuel pad, is not only fun, but it’s God-like.  God is a Conquering Lion, and every time a skateboarder gets on a board and starts conquering tricks and obstacles, they are acting in a way that is like their Creator.  Conquering obstacles on a skateboard should move us to commune with God and worship Him since we are doing something that is consistent with his character; we are doing something that gives us and God a like-minded interest and a common love or bond.  Gandhi said, “Only between like natures can friendship be altogether worthy and enduring.”  Skateboarders have like natures with God – The Conquering Lion of Judah, and this like nature makes our relationship with Him “altogether worthy and enduring.”

God is also in skateboarding in the way that it brings people together and breaks down racism and other social barriers.  I saw a show on Fuel TV once that did a documentary on the skate scene in Palestine, and apparently, Jew and Palestinian skateboarders in that region are homies, they skate and hang out together all the time.  Jews and Palestinians in Palestine tend to hate each other and pursue ways to kill and bring harm to one another, but in the skateboard community they’re family.  Skateboarding unifies people and creates family like relationships on a level that can’t always be properly explained and may even be unfathomable for some.  If skateboarding can bring peace to a hostile environment like Palestine, than imagine what the world be like if every terrorist fell in love with skateboarding, or if all the hostile countries and tribes in Africa were able to experience the joy of skateboarding.  The unity that skateboarding seems to accomplish is a sign of the hand of God.  If God is a good Father to His creation then we should be able to see Him pursuing ways of settling conflict with His children just like every other good parent does when their kids are fighting.  Skateboarding and it’s unifying culture is a vivid picture of a good heavenly father pursuing ways to unify and settle conflict with His children.

No friendship or relationship can endure without like natures and common interests.  Skateboarding gives us like natures and a common interest with God and with people.  Just like how skating with people makes skating more fun, skating with God “The Conquering Lion” also makes skating more fun.  God created People and are made in His image, so the more we feel God, the more we will love and enjoy people. And God created skateboarding so the more we feel God, the more we will enjoy skateboarding.  God and people make everything better, and in my experiences, skateboarding is no exception.

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