Dealing with distraction is a big part of skateboarding. If we’re skating by a street, people will often shout at us as they drive by. At skate parks it’s hard not to worry about someone getting in our way, and of course there’s always the big cracks right before or at the bottom of our favorite stair sets. So many things come against us that mess with our heads and cause us to lose focus. The biggest struggle in landing a trick can often be just blocking out the distractions that get in the way. Skateboarding is often just a game of, “can we stay focused?”
In life there always seems to be a constant flood of distractions coming at us that try to steal our focus away from the things we want to do or what God wants us to do. The bible paints a good picture on this in the story of Samson and Delilah (Judges 13-16). Samson was a man born with exceptional strength that was given him by God in order to deliver Israel from the Philistines that had been oppressing them. Samson had some heroic moments that show him walking in this purpose, but for the most part, he did not succeed. Samson’s strength was in his hair, and as long as he kept his hair he would keep his strength, but because he lacked the inner strength to block out distraction, he traded the Lord’s call on his life for a dead end romance that costed him everything. Delilah was hired by the philistines to seduce him and find out where his strength lied so they could kill him. If you read the story, there’s obvious signs of Delilah not really caring about him, but because he was so easily distracted and couldn’t focus on the Lord and His purpose for his life, he failed at his mission and the whole nation suffered. The Lord wanted to use him to deliver Israel, but since he failed they had to wait till King David came around many years later to pick up his slack. Like Samson, we all have things that God has created us to do, and many of us unfortunately fall victim to the distractions of the world and trade it in for something meaningless. As skateboarders, if we can’t work passed distraction we won’t be landing very many tricks, and as Christians we will never walk in God’s purpose for our lives.
Genesis 4:7 says, “sin is crouching at the door, it’s desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” Distraction and temptations to sin are always gnawing at us, but we have to learn to master it, block it out, and press on. Bastien Salabanzi said in an interview that through skating with Geoff Rowley and Arto Saari he learned that people that skate big stuff aren’t able to do so because they aren’t scared, but because they have mastered it and can control it. And it’s the same way with the Lord – distractions, temptations, and fear will always be there to try and get our focus off of the Lord, but we must master and rule over it. I’ve noticed that every time I see a homeless person that I want to help, there is always this powerful impulse telling me, “don’t do it.” I have to rule over this if I want to help anyone. Being able to stay focused on the things of the Lord is a skill we are always working on. When temptations come hollering at us, we need to have the courage and the wisdom not to bend to its calling. Proverbs 22:3 says, “The wise sees danger and hides himself, but the naive go on and suffer for it.” And Deuteronomy 30:20 says, “Therefore choose life that your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to Him, for He is your life and length of days.” God is our life, our everything. There will be times when temptations will arise to get us to think differently, but we need to be wise and hold fast to our God. He is the one that gives our lives meaning and purpose, nothing else. Keep your eyes and focus on the Lord, only then does anyone truly live.
Fear and distractions will always be things that get in our way and keep us from doing the things we want to do. What are some ways that we can grow in mastering these in order to get passed them?
I’m sure you have heard the cliche, “love is blind.” How does this relate to Samson and Delilah and what can we learn from this story in regards to this?
Romantic love has a way of blinding people as to what everyone can see except for the couple of the negative repercussions of what the romance is doing to one or both of the people involved. How can we make sure that we don’t end up in a Samson and Delilah type of relationship where we are sacrificing God’s calling on our lives for the sake of the romance?