Romans 12:1, “I appeal to you brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”
Growing up as a skateboarder, skateboarding was all I cared about. I would skip school to skate, which also made my grades suffer because I was too busy skating to worry about school work; I would stay home from family gatherings because going out skating and filming for the weekend was far more important; I would stop hanging out with certain people because I felt like they were holding me back, and I would befriend or spend more time with other people because I felt like they helped push me forward as a skateboarder. Girlfriends as well had little appeal to me because I saw them as something that would just get in the way of my skating. And my future plans (like where I would live and what I would do after High School) were all based around, “how can I skate the best stuff, skate as much as possible, and become the best skateboarder I possibly can?” When it came time for me to start brainstorming about college or a career when I was in High School, my thinking was, “if I don’t go pro and get paid to skate for a living, than this life isn’t really worth living.” Everything I did, and everything I hoped for, was all built around skateboarding, all that mattered in life is skating as much as I could and getting the best at it I possibly can. Skateboarding was my religion, I made sacrifices for it, I cut people out of my life for it, and I got all of my meaning and purpose in life from it.
It is a common thing for skateboarders to make it their religion. I read an interview from a pro skater (I forget which one) in “The Skateboard Mag” the other day that said, “I am happy to donate my body to skateboarding, because it is what I love to do.” What is interesting about this quote, is that skateboarders love and resonate with stuff like this so much that I saw this get reposted all over Instagram and Facebook. When I read or hear skaters say this sort of thing, and see how others respond to it with such joy and acceptance, it fascinates me that we don’t think of skateboarding as a religious practice. This quote from the pro skater is almost identical to what Paul says in Romans 12:1 (the verse at the top) in relation to what a Christian should do for Christ.
“To present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God,” looks a lot like what a skateboarder does for skateboarding. We will make certain sacrifices in our lives for God and do whatever it takes to keep us moving forward in our relationship with Him. We will cut certain people out of our lives that our holding us back from growing in Him, we will refrain from dating certain people because they will do more harm than good to our relationship with Him, and everything we do and plan for will be based around, “how can I love and serve God to my greatest potential?” To make sacrifices for God and offer ourselves to Him as a living sacrifice is to cut out the people and things that hold us back, and replace them with the people and things that will help us grow and get better. Skateboarding is not something we should ever stop doing once we become Christians (unless you really feel like you need too), but our priority of growing in the Lord and serving Him should always be above our priority of becoming the greatest skateboarder we can.
One day our ability to skate will come to an end, and if our God is the one true God, it won’t be that big of a deal, for our life is wrapped up in something bigger than skateboarding, something eternal. But if our God or religion is skateboarding, than once our ability to skate comes to an end, we will have nothing left to live for, our life will be left in meaningless despair. So I encourage you to build your life around something that it was meant to be built around, something that was meant to give you all your meaning and purpose. As King David says in Psalm 16:2, “I say to the Lord, ‘you are my lord, I have no good apart from you.'”