It is no small miracle that I still have these skates. Its a long story but when I was 17 my mother died, our house was sold, and nearly all of our possessions were sold as well (sold or stolen - its kind of a sorted story). While I don't have any of the clothes, furniture, toys or mementos from my childhood, I do have my roller skates.
After the birth of my first child, a couple girlfriends and I decided to go roller skating one evening as a girls night out. I strapped on my old skates - white boots with orange wheels - and even though I was wearing maternity jeans instead of my old Jordache jeans, I felt like I was 13 again. We laughed and skated, and did the Hokey Pokey like we were back in the 80's. That was ten years ago. Then I put the skates away again, until this Saturday.
The skating rink this Saturday was perfect. It was complete with a disco ball, strobe lights, and even a "fog" machine and it felt like the 80's were back. I eagerly strapped on my middle school skates and hit the floor. I took my first lap slow but they felt as good as ever. About the time I was ready to experience the wind in my hair, I felt a funny bump under my right skate. Thud ... thud ... thud ... thud... I could tell something was uneven. I looked down at my skate wheels expecting to find a candy wrapper or something stuck to it, instead I found the entire orange covering on one of my wheels had come off!
For a moment the 80's were back and feeling good ... but then my nostalgic bubble was burst.
I took off my old skates and traded in for a pair of the skating rink's skates. They were brown rather than white and they didn't come up past my ankle like my old skates do. At first they felt strange and I skated a little unsure of myself. But after a few laps on them I was feeling at home, skating, spinning, "shooting the duck," skating backwards, and doing the chicken dance in center rink with the kids.
Our favorite pair of shoes is usually an old pair isn't it? We like the ones that are broken in, conformed to our feet, and worn soft in all the right places. They’re the ones we grab when we want to feel comfortable and not have to think about our feet. They aren't much to look at but they feel oh-so-good.
Our old patterns of behavior can be like that too – especially those sinful behaviors we like to repeatedly indulge in. Patterns like gossipping with friends, over-eating, day-dreaming about a married man, or taking our anger out on others when we're in a bad mood. They may not be all that pretty, or smell all that great, but they can feel oh-so-good at the time. They’re comfortably familiar and we often choose to wear them without thinking about it.
Wearing our new identity in Christ, doing the things He calls us to, can be as hard to get used to as a new pair of shoes. It feels awkward, and may even feel binding in spots. At times we give up and throw back on our old selves. Just like the skinny jeans and leg-warmers of the 80's are comming back in fad, back comes my sinful self if I'm not careful. And each time I let it, because it feels good at the time, I lose my bearings. How much better to walk with God in the new garments He made for us.
Let's take a look at the "skates" God encourages us to trade in, and the ones He wants us to put on. Check it out here: Colossians 3:8-15.
All Skate ... tell us what has the power to take you back to your childhood, like roller skating does for me?
And if you're feeling brave enough ... tell us if there is something that you recognize has the power to take you back to your sinful ways?Couples' Skate ... Take Jesus' hand today and venture out onto the rink of life, trusting that His ways will keep you upright and moving forward with grace you wouldn't otherwise have.