Commitment is the most crucial part of skateboarding, and it is also the scariest. There are times when there is no doubt at all in my head that I can do a trick, but for some reason I am too afraid to commit to it. I end up rolling up to the stairs/rail/obstacle over and over again and won’t even try, or I end up throwing myself down the thing with a bunch of half-hearted attempts that don’t really get me anywhere; popping my board off the stairs in an attempt to maybe commit and just kicking it away. There are times when my useless attempts are a part of a process that can lead to an eventual try where I can fully commit, and there are others when it doesn’t and I have to leave the spot feeling like a coward. Until I can fully commit to the trick, all my useless tries are just a waste of time and energy, and I am just bringing pain to my body for basically no reason. Sometimes I’ll have those days where I feel a little more fearless than usual and I can try things with full commitment right away, and I’ve noticed that not only do I waste a lot less time, but I usually walk away in a lot less pain as well. Commitment is the root of all progression, without it, we are either wasting our time with half-hearted attempts, or we are just being cowards and not even trying.
One of my favorite parables of Jesus, is the parable of the sower (Matthew 13:1-23). In this parable Jesus describes four different responses that people have when they hear the word of God. The first response is with contempt and they ignore it completely, which is the equivalent to the skateboarder that can’t even work up the courage to attempt the trick; the second and third are similar, they respond with joy and give Christ a try, but their efforts end up being half-hearted with no solid commitment, and they end up losing heart and are unsuccessful. These two are the equivalent to the skateboarder that just gives half-hearted attempts hoping that it might turn into a fully committed effort, but it never does. The last response in the parable is a response of full commitment that leads to the person growing in Christ at an incredible rate and begins to accomplish a lot for the Kingdom of God. The skateboarders that find it easier to fully commit to those new and scary tricks are the ones that end up becoming the professionals and are the ones that progress at an incredible rate. It is the same thing for the people that choose to follow Christ with all their heart and are fully committed everyday. If we want to accomplish a lot and become a “professional” of sorts, we have to fully commit every time there is an opportunity to progress and push ourselves. The harder we push ourselves and the more we are able to commit everything we have and overcome our fears or whatever is holding us back, the more we will grow and be successful.
For a lot of people, fully committing to Christ can be way scarier than the scariest trick they have ever tried to do on a skateboard. My eventual full commitment to Christ looked a lot like when I have to give those new/scary tricks a bunch of half-hearted attempts before I can finally fully commit to one. Confidence and commitment seem to be a big problem in humanity, and no where is this more obvious than at the skatepark. Everyday I see people trying, or wanting to do something that all their friends know they can easily do if they would just commit, but for some reason they have such a hard time working up the confidence and courage to do it. Our commitment to Christ tends to have this same problem, we know we want too, and we know we can, but for some reason we just can’t get ourselves to do it. We either can’t work up the nerve to even try it, or we have to give it a bunch of half-hearted attempts before we can finally commit. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 6:2, “Indeed, the right time is now, today is the time of salvation.” If you are one of those people that wants to commit to Christ, but just can’t seem to work up the courage, then I hope and pray that you can finally stop wasting your time and energy on a bunch of roll ups and useless efforts. If you know you can do it, and want to do it, then please ask God to help you finally commit everything you got; get with someone that can help you work through those confidence barriers that keep you from fully committing. Every time I go skate and try something new, I wish I could just fully commit from the start and not make it harder and more painful than it has to be; and I wish I could have done the same thing with Christ. I wasted a lot of time and brought a lot of unnecessary pain upon myself with my half-hearted efforts, or my lack of any effort at all. When we know we can do something, and want to do something, but for some reason and can’t get ourselves to do it, the mental torture of that is almost worst than any physical pain that may came from the actual try. “Today is the day of salvation.”
Has committing to Christ ever felt like rolling up to a stair set over and over again that you and all your friends knew that you could do, but couldn’t get yourself to go for it? How can we overcome these moments?
I have noticed that when I am skating by myself, it it ten times harder to do things that scare me. What does that say about the importance of having people around us that believe in us and want to see us succeed? How can people help us grow in Christ in this same way?
In the parable of the sower (Matthew 13:1-23), has there ever been a time when we were more like the the first three responders? How can we make sure we always respond like the fourth person? Does the people we surround ourselves with play a role in how we respond?