Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Secret of Staying Balanced: "I Just Move."

I was with some of the other HopeKids people recceeing Outward Bound School in East Coast Park last Saturday, when I saw Kelvin and Yung's ten-year-old son, Nathan, skating on his skateboard.

Now today's 21st-century skateboards are to our '80s skateboards what a jet fighter is to a propeller plane. They're really unstable, with two wheels only, and they even twist in the middle. But boy, oh boy, you can do stunts unparalleled on today's skateboards that wouldn't look out of place in Cirque du Soleil - or if you're not so nimble, in Monty Python's Flying Circus.

So I asked Nathan, "Can I try your skateboard?"


So I tried. I couldn't even stand on the skateboard for five seconds. Man. At least with the previous generation of skateboards, you could stand on them without toppling over like an end-game Jenga block in an earthquake.

I looked curiously at the Skateboard.

"How do you manage to balance on this skateboard?"

He replied with a nonchalant shrug, "I just move."

With that, he stepped lightly onto the skateboard and, with a swift kick off the ground, flew around on his skateboard. Naturally, I was impressed.

As I watched him move easily, and pondered over my own clumsiness, I realised that a young boy taught me, in that way only children can do, how to live the balanced Christian life.

I guess sometimes we worry about this, trying to be the right person in all the right proportions e.g. stewardship of time, balance of work and ministry, rest, spending time with people and so on. Trying to look like we have it all together before others, to be society's ideal of an "all-rounded" person - even in the church.

But it's awfully stressful, isn't it? Not that you're being hypocritical or anything, but rather, you're already trying your best to be good. And you find that it's a very tiring thing for you, frankly. Not impossible, but tiring. And then you wonder whether you have to do this day after day.

But watching Nathan having fun on his skateboard taught me that it's not meant to be like that. True, at the start, it's all slips and falls. But one thing about children is that they usually don't cry and feel down when they slip and fall. They just accept it as a natural part of the learning process. It is we adults who put the shame into failing. Constantly correcting every step of their ways, so that "they don't make mistakes."

I know one dear brother, who's a wise and godly man. Thing is, I wonder how his children will feel in future, because he constantly corrects, out of love and concern, every step that I make sometimes. Heh. I think I should tell him that hey, if it's not going to kill or incapacitate or scar me for life, then let me make my mistakes and learn from them. :)

Of course, the kids don't just stay there and keep making the same mistake again and again. They just move. They get up and fall down. They rinse and repeat. Get up, just move a bit further more, and fall down again. Which makes sense. Ultimately, even the most pro skateboarder has to fall down sooner or later. It's just that he/she falls later with grace. :)

Which goes back to a life lived in and with and by grace. That you fall down, get up and move again. You just move. Then no matter how difficult the road, no matter how trying the conditions, you learn to stay balanced even when the road gets bumpy and you start going uphill.

That's the secret of walking the balanced Christian life... to walk like Jesus, the most balanced Person ever. His path was uber-challenging. The straightest and narrowest path that any human had to ever walk. And yet He strayed neither to the left nor to the right. He was fully in sync with His Father's will, all the way to the cross. And even when he was being crucified, He had one thief on his right, and another on His left. Now how's that for balance?

So just keep moving with Him every step of the way. "Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit."

:) Thank God for His using a young child to teach me a wonderful life-lesson.


Huanyan said...

come to think about it, I really think we should gang up and write a book. I'm good with coming out with ideas and you are good in coming out with stories and illustrations to connect the ideas. We will make an awesome pair.

yeu@nn said...

Wow! :D Hee, yes, it'd be an honour to work together with you, bro. :D You have excellent clarity of insight into many things, so yah, I think it'll be great fun to work together with you on a book...

Now we just need to find a topic to write our book on. :) Proverbs 16:3!

Huanyan said...

I thought the one on 'wake up your ideas' is quite good