Ezra and I were killing some time last week by watching skateboarding videos on YouTube. (His idea, no joke… dad was excited) The video had 5 skaters from different parts of N.America skating in different environments, using whatever was around to create unique courses.
What was awesome about the video was how kind the skaters were to one another. In a world where one is only as relevant as their next sponsorship, these guys showed incredible hospitality for one another and raved about the ability of the other skaters with authentic appreciation.
We struggle with giving authentic affirmation of others. It’s strange, isn’t it? Have you ever been given a compliment and begin to realize that the compliment was given in order for you to feel obliged to return the favor? Who would have thought that receiving affirmation would be a job enlistment…
In a Christian environment, this takes on a whole new dynamic. The virtues of hospitality, kindness, love, honoring others, placing the needs of others over ourselves provoke us to get busy affirming people. This activity, however, needs to be checked. Is the fulfillment of the virtue (honoring others) the primary need and the person who we are honoring the means to end? In the process of wanting to “apply the Bible” we need to make sure that ideas (honoring people) take the place of actual people. For some reason humans have a high-tuned radar to know when sub-authentic kindness is given to us.
We should take some queues from the skateboarding world. These guys had developed their own game and their appreciation for their sport that they were just thrilled to share it with others. They seemed to be content with the idea that they were not being threatened by others; all they had to gain by getting together is learning and growing. Their own skating game gave them access to meet people with their same passion.
We woke up today and now share something with over 7 billion people, life itself. We are all the nephesh, living beings that are animated by a loving God. I wonder what would happen if that was enough for us to go out and make their world a bit better instead of worrying about ways to push ahead of all of them.
This type of posture takes practice. Here is what the Skillen’s are going to do:
At dinner time, we are going to go around the table and give a “Daily Stoke,” an opportunity to give someone else a no-holds-barred compliment or affirmation. We’re just gonna let it rip. We anticipate that there will be ears burning every night from 6:00-7:00pm CST because the Skillens are gonna insist on letting each other know about the awesome people that are all around us.
Blessed are the stoke makers for they will inherit the earth.