Fun Times with Fast Folks
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the "Time Trials" event at the Hiawatha (a private skateboard bowl in the Twin Cities). The event began with a race, which is pretty unique in the world of skateboarding. Next, there was a best trick contest; this format is more commonplace, but the obstacle certainly was not (i.e. the "portal" in the image below). Lastly came the opportunity to socialize and ride without any contest-related pressures.
Everything about this event felt dissimilar to other contests; it was less formal, less competitive, and honestly just seemed like an atmosphere that could be summed up as "friendly." This made for an enjoyable evening, in which all the riders hyped one another up as they each pushed their own individual limits.
In addition to kind attitudes, the place was permeated with smoke, spilt beer, and heavy metal; these are cultural staples in the world of underground skateboarding. While these things might serve as barriers to relationship for the stereotypical Christian, it's important to remember that Scripture commissions us to "go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation" (Mark 16:15, NIV).
Jesus, the savior of mankind, was called out many times for associating with people who were actively leading sinful lives (e.g. Luke 5:30, 7:39, 15:2, and 19:7). In each of these circumstances, his end-goal was to lead them into relationship with their heavenly creator. Since we ought to be following his example, it's imperative that we consider who our neighbors are & how we can reach them.
While I didn't get the chance to lead anyone into a saving relationship with Christ this evening, I did get to serve food and establish/strengthen some friendships in ways I may not have otherwise been able to. I hope these instances of relational rapport can serve as foundations upon which I later build gospel conversations.
I encourage you to acknowledge that "it is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick" (Mark 2:17, NIV). Pray for the Lord to show you where He wants you to serve, minister, and reach out; while it may require leaving your comfort zone, know that you can do all things through Him who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13).
If you'd like to come alongside the JSAW team to reach riders in the community, you can explore opportunities at JSAW.org/volunteer
Photo credits: Dan Huseby