How you gon' walk?
Wise words from a 9 year old at the skating rink: "How you gon' learn how to skate if you don't skate?"
I recently decided I wanted to learn how to roller skate (more like challenged). I was telling a friend about all of the activities I didn't pick up as a child and skating was one of them (others include riding a bike and learning how to swim).
She challenged me to learn so we set up a time to go and this was our second visit to the rink. The first time, we hung out on the carpet getting comfortable with the feeling of the skates and the slight moves needed to roll. The second time, I knew I had to hit the floor to feel accomplished. In my head, I kept imagining myself falling as soon as my foot hit the floor. With my eyes, I could see even the "pro" skaters out on the floor falling - apparently it's a bit inevitable even for the more comfortable/experienced skaters.
I was at the edge of the rink petrified when Christian, a 9 year old, said “How you gon’ skate if you don’t skate?” When he said this to me it lit a fire under my butt to just get out there! I stepped on the floor and literally rolled with it. It wasn't even all that bad other than me thinking of how not to fall 😅. From this experience I learned 2 lessons/ had 2 major takeaways: 1. How you gon' _______ if you don't ______?! 2. Falling is a part of the process!
Christian, my new 9 year old friend, probably didn't even know he was speaking straight to my faith when he said that. If I'm aiming to walk by faith, the goal is to just DO/go for it and leave the details to God! How am I gonna have a million dollar business if I don't start the business? How am I gonna learn something new if I don't take the steps to learn it? How will I be better if I don't DO better? That also made me ask myself, how are you gonna get over your fear of falling if you don't fall? I honestly don't even know where the fear began. I just remember being a kid who fell once and decided I never wanted to fall again and would avoid falling at all costs even if that meant quitting. That brings to mind a quote I've heard that says "the only way you can fail is if you quit."
The funny thing about falling is after you fall once, you're supposed to do what you can to adjust so that you don't fall again. The goal is to keep trying until you complete the task at hand! When I quit after falling once, I never could see myself completing the task - all I could see was me falling. If I'm walking by faith and not by sight, I shouldn't get stuck on the fact that I fell once - my focus should be on the faith that I can learn and master whatever it is that I'm wanting to do. Philippians 4:14 reminds me that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. So even if I fall, Christ gives me the strength to get back up and try again!
I realize that learning new things as an adult is so much different than it was as a kid! As a kid, you have the safety net of your parents holding you plus that unexplainable tough skin that all kids have - you know they can fall and hop right back up like nothing happened! Being older and heavier as an adult, there’s a level of hesitation about trying things that stops many of us from moving forward. Sometimes I wonder if I’d learned certain things as child, if that would’ve made a big difference in the way I’ve matured and navigated through life. That, I’ll never understand until I’m a parent of my own child so until then, I’ll just have to learn by walking by faith and falling!
I really don't think Christian knows how much that simple phrase spoke to me, but I'm glad God used him to encourage me!