For most of us in the south, ice skating is not a regular activity. So, when we do go, it is a little nerve-racking and it also reminds us of some interesting lessons.
For me, ice skating is difficult, but I do find that I am more likely to fall if I am standing still. I seem to do a better job of keeping balance if I am moving forward. Spiritually-thinking, we must “look forward” (Phil.3:12-14) and “move forward” (Heb.6:1-2). The Hebrews writer says we obtain maturity in Christ by growing in knowledge (Heb.5:11-14) and by pressing forward in Christian living (Heb.6:1-4).
Second, the people who are good ice skaters have often fallen. Failing is a part of success. It is how we learn. Skills for the Lord follow the same pattern. Learning to visit, study and invite others to the Lord takes practice. Yes, we will sometimes fail, but through the experience we will learn, through God’s grace, to become a “wise master builder” ( I Cor.3:10).
Third, a most obvious, yet understated fact is – you can’t skate unless you get on the ice. There are many onlookers. The observers don’t get on the ice because they don’t want to get hurt. (Yet they the very ones most likely to give advice or tell you what you’re doing wrong…) Ever been ice skating? That first step on the ice is memorable and important. We must make that call, speak up and invite that friend, stick around after church and encourage the downhearted.