Skateboarding can be a pretty painful thing to get good at. Before we experience the good feeling that comes with rolling away from a new trick, we usually have to put ourselves through lots of pain and sacrifice. We often find ourselves in a situation where we are throwing ourselves down flights of stairs or some other type of obstacle over and over again to the point that heels, hips, ankles, and other parts of the body are getting painfully worst with every try. We know that every attempt will cost us greater pain and discomfort, but for some reason we continue to throw ourselves down it in a hope for victory. As soon as the trick gets landed though, and even better if it gets on film, all the pain that we had to go through becomes worth it and is turned into a joyful occasion. Skateboarding demonstrates a pattern in humanity that the best things in life come out of pain and hardship.
Moving forward in life will always have those moments where we just want to give up. Progression is always met with resistance, and it takes lots of fighting and determination in order to push through it. As skateboarders, it is a battle every time we get on a board and try to learn a new trick or do an old trick down something new. But the joy and satisfaction of landing that trick, and that feeling of accomplishment it is well worth the cost of the battle. It is the progression and the development that comes through the battle that keeps us skating and makes it so addicting. Moving forward as Christians is no different, Jesus says in Mathew 7:14 that “HARD” is the path that leads to life, and in John 16:33 He says, “In this world you will have trouble and suffering, but take courage, for I have conquered the world.” As skateboarders and as Christians, the next painful trial is always right around the corner, but so is the growth and development that follows it. C.S. Lewis said, “We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” We cannot ignore pain, which is why it produces the most growth in our lives. The way that leads to life is hard because God intends every bit to grow us into something magnificent. When you see a skateboarder who is really good, you can guarantee that it took him many great falls and a lot of pain to get him there. The Christian life is no different. It will cost many trials and hardships in order to make us wise, humble, loving, generous people. Pain will come regardless if we are serving Christ or not, it is just a matter if we would like to suffer like Judas or John. One ended in agony, one ended in glory; our choice is just in how we want our trials to shape us. 1 Peter 4:15-16 says, “Let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that Name.” No matter how we choose to live or believe in this world, we are going to suffer. So the big question we have to ask ourselves is, are we going to suffer for doing good and for serving God, or for doing evil and serving ourselves? If we choose the earlier, God will be constantly shaping and forming us through our pain into something more beautiful. All the greatest times of growth and development comes through pain; it is true in skateboarding and it is true in the everyday.
Can you think of a time when you went through some painful experience that produced something good that you were thankful for?
Can you think of a time when you suffered for doing something silly that you wish you didn’t do? For example getting trouble with the law or at school?
How can we make sure we are suffering for good reasons instead of bad ones?