Israel has been in constant skirmishes with its neighboring countries since it became a nation in 1948. The people live in constant fear of being bombed, and most the people in its neighboring countries are not fond of Israel. In 2006, during the Israel/Lebanon war, Nathan Grey made a documentary called “Sour” that was intended to portray skateboarders in Israel and its neighboring country Jordan. Nathan Grey is a skateboarder and like most, he is fascinated by the unity and instant connection that tends to take place within it. He wanted to see if skateboarders in Israel and Jordan could keep this same kind of instant connection and unity with each other during a time when tensions were at some of its highest points between Israel and its neighbors. And to his surprise, they were. The common people in the two nations hate each other and want to see the other in pain and anguish, but the skateboarders just want to be friends, to skate and have fun together. Psalm 133 says, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in unity.” The unity that Nathan Grey was able to document in Israel and Jordan is nothing short of a miracle that can move people to tears.
When I hear about this sort of thing, I often wonder, is there something deeper taking place hear? Something beyond skateboarding? Does the unity that tends to be in skateboarding point to something greater? We often read in the Bible about God being like a loving father, and if that is true, then we should see God working in ways that builds unity amongst his people, agreed? For any loving father would not enjoy to see his children fuss and fight with each other. So what if skateboarding was a gift from God that He gave to his children in order to diminish the conflicts that seem to plague the human race? The Bible says in John 3:27, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven,” and in James 1:17, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father of lights.” I’m sure we can all agree that skateboarding is indeed, “a good and perfect gift.” When we bring God into the equation, it gives the unity we see in skateboarding much more significance. God gave the world skateboarding because he loves us and wants to see us have fun together, not to fuss and fight. Jesus says in John 13:35, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another,” and 1 John 5:7-8 says, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God; anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” We see in these verses that God is always pushing for love and unity amongst his people, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that God would give us something like skateboarding that accomplishes this very thing. Skateboarding is a gift from God that points to a loving Heavenly Father that desire’s to see his children live in peace and harmony with each other.
If skateboarding is a gift from God, does that change how you skate, interact with other skateboarders, and perceive skateboarding as a whole? Does it deepen your understanding of skateboarding and give new appreciation for it?
How can we be better stewards of God’s gift and make sure we are not taking it for granted?
What is the primary focus when you are out skateboarding? If skateboarding is a gift from God, it should cause us to look outward, at the people around us. Are we focused on ourselves or the people around us?