Don’t wait for skates!

Old ice skates hanging on rustic wooden wall

As a kid, below freezing weather, sleet, and snow have no negative connotation.  Nope.  Instead, it means good stuff like snow and ice.  (Being homeschooled, I still had to go to school.)

My friends had a farm in the country, and one time their mom called up my mom and asked if I could come over to play on their brand new ice skating rink.  Their pond had frozen solid.  The dad had taken an ax and hit it to make sure it wasn’t giving way.

My joy over the idea of debuting on an ice skating rink–after all, I had made up my mind that by age 14 I was going to be the youngest Olympic ice skater ever to earn all 10’s as people showered me with stuffed toys (I’d ask for no roses so I’d get more stuffed toys)–was dampered by a depressing thought: I had no ice skates.

True, I had “practiced” ice skating in my socks on the carpet (how does that work?) and I had even planned out like triple-duple-double-quadruple jumps in my head (and listened to myself narrate the amazed commentary that would follow) . . . but I wasn’t so sure about actually doing it.

I had a feeling, in fact, that I could not.

I was, after all, the same daughter whose Dad had at last given up dreams of playing catch at night with after, um, well, finding out his daughter couldn’t catch.  Well, at least not a baseball.  I would probably have been very good at catching a beach ball.  On a string.  If the string was wrapped around my wrist.  And I could kinda reel it in if I missed.

But anyway, I was a little intimidated at the idea of getting out on real ice and practicing triple jumps.  And, besides, I didn’t have ice skates.

“But mom, I don’t have any ice skates,” I said.

“She said the girls are using socks on their tennis shoes to skate with,” Mom said.

Well, that didn’t really sound like it would meet Olympic standards.  But it did sound like the only way I was going to get to ice skate anytime soon.  Or ever.

On the drive down to my friends’  house, down the long gravel road into their neck of the woods, I thought about ice skating.  And when we got there, and I walked with my friends through the crunchy snow up to their pond, I was wound up by the pressure I was placing on myself to perform as a prodigy.  What if I found out I was a dud?

We got the pond, and it wasn’t the only thing that was frozen.  For a split-second, I was afraid to get out on it.  Afraid the ice would break.  Afraid I would fall.

But then I saw my friends breeze onto the ice, and I (temporarily) forgot about impressing Olympic judges and about the inadequacy of my “ice skates” and even about busting my head open.  (I was really good as a kid about forgetting that I could bust my head open.)

I got out on the ice, and I played.  We played until our blood should have been the consistency of a slushee.  I learned how to do a, well, a single spin.  But it felt Olympicish.  And there was this tree stump kinda thing, and we could jump from the stump onto the frozen pond.  I got to be very daring about it.

(I know God always looks down from Heaven.  That day He clearly decided to keep my little noggin off the ice.)

When we were just about frozen solid, we had hot chocolate at the kitchen table, warming our fingers on the mug, and I remember what I was wishing.  I was wishing I was out on that pond.

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

If you’ve been thinking about coming to Christ for salvation . . . but you’re not sure you have the right stuff or the right lifestyle or the right talents or the right anything . . . don’t wait until after you get your life in order.  Those ice skates are never going to come.  An Olympic medal isn’t going to arrive in the mail.    And that triple-duple-double-quadruple jump isn’t ever going to happen.

Go to Him now.  Right now.  Because you’ll never realize until you do that He already has everything you need.

Seek the LORD while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near. (Isaiah 55:6, NLT)

For “Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.” (Romans 10:13, NLT)

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Photograph by SomewhereInTime, profile on http://www.flickr.com/people/capturedsomewhereintime/

Photograph is under Creative Commons License.

See Copyright Page for Bible translation information.

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Published in: on November 22, 2011 at 11:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Fulfillment

When I was little, there was this toy makeup kit.  I craved.

The kit only lasted for like 5 minutes.  I had a happy five minutes.

And then it was over.

So I asked for another kit and another and another.

Inside each kit was a bright red plastic lipstick.

There was some kind of clear nail polish, authentically stenchy.

There was a set of bright red fake nails that, well, I don’t know how they were supposed to stay on a five-year-old’s fingers but I know for sure they didn’t.

There was an itty-bitty tissue box, too.  I don’t think there was a mirror and if there was a powder puff, I don’t remember it.

And then there was the excitingest, best part of the kit I looked most forward to: a cardboard box of powder that, when a five-year-old opened, would create an explosive chalky cloud.

Picture, if you would, this much powder, only, in a rather small bathroom.

I got a very, very special feeling whenever I got one of those kits.  I craved those kits so badly that I tore the cardboard-and-plastic shell off like Cookie Monster tearing into a box of cookies.  I would rip open the cardboard box and saturate myself (and the bathroom) with a white dust cloud.  Then I would pretend to smear bright red lipstick all over my lips.  (It’s a good thing that was plastic.)  And last of all, I would paint clear polish all over the tips of my fingers.

All done.

I couldn’t wait to get another kit.

And another.

And another.

But you know what?  There came a time when I grew up, and however much I liked the feeling I got when I ripped open those make-up kits . . . I didn’t try to find them in the toy aisle anymore.  I could spend my paycheck on kiddie makeup kits, it’s true, but there’s a time when plastic lipstick and Frosty-the-snowman powder . . . just don’t cut it anymore.  I want more to my life than 5 minutes of pleasure.  I want real joy that’s lasting.  And that doesn’t come from a two-inch tissue box or a set of fake fingernails.

Our message at church this Sunday was on maturity.  I want maturity.  I don’t want to spend my life ripping into kits of purposeless, selfish time waste.  In other words, I don’t want to spend my life begging for sin kits–quickie shots of happiness that last about as long as a fake make-up kit in a five-year-old’s hands.

I want maturity.  I want to grow in Christ.  I don’t want to long for cheapie ways Satan can rip off my life.  I want to pursue the everlasting promise of Christ’s love.

Brothers and sisters, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults. (1 Corinthians 14:20, NIV)

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Photograph by Kris Arnold, profile on http://www.flickr.com/people/wka/

Photograph is under Creative Commons License.

See Copyright Page for Bible translation information.