Skateboarding can be very scary, and because of this, the fear of falling will often make it hard to try a trick with complete confidence. And without confidence, it is hard to do tricks properly, for our nerves get all uneasy and it gets hard to focus. As odd as it may sound though, I’ve noticed that we can usually build our confidence and calm our nerves by bailing and purposefully falling. When what we think is the worst thing that can happen, actually happens, and we find ourselves hardly phased by it – we realize that there was nothing really to be afraid of. We become liberated from our fear and are free to try the trick with all the confidence in the world. Fear holds us back from skating to our full potential, and sometimes we have to make our fears become a reality before we can be freed from them and skate to our full potential.
All aspects of life entail fear, and sometimes the only way to get passed them is to have them become real. There was a time in my life where I had built my entire reason for living on being a skateboarder and being in skate ministry. If I ever got seriously hurt and unable to really skate, my entire way of life would be crushed and I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. But then it happened and I was thrown into a panic. Life became one mess of confusion and I even doubted if God was real because of it. Thankfully I did recover, and I learned through it that skateboarding and skate ministry cannot carry the full weight of my existence and purpose, it has to be built on Christ. And when I realized this and came back to skateboarding, it became a lot more enjoyable and the ministry aspect was a lot more fruitful. Before I could love skateboarding and skate ministry correctly, I had to relinquish my fear of losing it, and the only way I was able to do that was to actually lose it and have my biggest fear become real.
Proverbs 10:24-25 says, “The fear of the wicked will come upon him… When the whirlwind passes, the wicked is no more, but the righteous has an everlasting foundation.” Sometimes the Lord will allow our greatest fear to come upon us in order to remove whatever wickedness may be in us. When we love something so much that we can’t imagine life without it, then that thing has become an idol and has taken the place of God in our lives. God in His grace will often remove that idol by making us give it up for a time in order to purify our relationship with Him and with whatever good thing we have made an idol of. Most the time these things we love that get in the way of our relationship with God are good things, but we get consumed by them and turn them into “God” things. And this gets manifested in all sorts of ways: significant others, money, careers, success, and even ministries. 2 Peter 2:19 says, “Whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.” Everyone is enslaved to something, if we are not enslaved to our perfect God that offers us grace and freedom, than we are enslaved to imperfect things and people that make our lives hard and burdensome, and fill us with anxiety. Fear and idolatry brings anxiety and terror, and that is not how our God designed us to live, for 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and self-control.”
Fear is a painful thing to get rid of, in skateboarding we have to fall and beat our bodies up, in our spiritual lives we often have to go through trials and hardship. C.S. Lewis said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but SHOUTS in our pain: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” Because we tend to hold onto things that may be hurting us with such an iron grip, God – our great loving physician – will often have to perform surgery in order to loosen it. Pain is something that is often used to correct and bring freedom, which is something that we can also see in skateboarding. Sometimes the only way to overcome fear is to have it come true. For there are plenty of times when my fears came true and I realized, “oh wow, I had no reason to be afraid of that.” There also times when I am thankful that my fears came true, for they often bring fresh perspective and revelation that cause me to rethink how I have been living. It enlightens me as to how I could be living better. When we look at fear like this it removes the threat. Whatever the outcome is in this fear we are facing, even if it comes true, we are going to learn and grow from it, and that is something we can embrace and show gratitude for.
Have you ever been forced to let go of something that you thought you couldn’t live without? For example: a relationship, hobby, or even skateboarding? How did it shape you?
Sometimes the only way to conquer fear is to have it come true. Have you ever experienced this in skateboarding or in daily life?
If we could accept any outcome when facing whatever it is we feel we have to do that is scaring us, how does that remove the threat?