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Life is like an Ice Rink

How does ice skating sound when it 97 degrees outside plus 73 percent humidity? In the mid-summer, I took two of my grandchildren to the Galleria Ice Rink for some fun, food, and pictures. We were celebrating their graduation from elementary school. That is a noteworthy accomplishment deserving of burgers and ice cream.

But they really wanted to skate on the huge slab of ice. And I don’t blame them. Neither of them had ever skated before, so there was a learning curve. But after an hour, both were able to stay upright, and even get around the rink. Of course, I was there with my camera documenting the spectacle. Great memories of my amazing grandchildren.

The ice rick provides a great illustration of life in general. There is a border around the rink, and that forces each skater to stay on the ice. True this: ice skates will not slide on carpet.

I was spellbound by the incredible talent of some preschoolers. Children ages three through five were doing swizzles, spirals, flip jumps, and camel spins. I know this because one of the genius’ mothers was sitting next to me pointing out her daughters’ performance. Ooh’s and Aah’s were heard in the gallery, and shoppers were watching from the elevated floor above.

There was a man in his 80’s, skating like a professional, and lost in the world of yesterday. He heard music we did not hear, and was with a lover we could we could not see. He moved with grace, and adjusted to his partner’s needs as they circled the ice. Sad. Beautiful. Hypnotizing.

And then there were the first-timers sprawled out on the ice trying valiantly to get up but failing. Someone only slightly more experienced would pick them up, and sometimes they all fell down. What fun. There was a teenage couple who could not stop laughing. Even when they hit the wall, or stumbled to the ice, they laughed and laughed. I am sure the next day they had happy bruises. But that’s what skating is all about.

There is a lesson from the ice rink that we should all understand. The rink was fill with people of many different nationalities, ages, genders, and abilities. They all were there for a common purpose, and respected each other as they should. There were no policemen directing traffic. Somehow, they all just knew to skate counter clockwise, even in a digital age.

They all got along. No one had “ice-rage” or passed on the wrong side. The less experienced stayed together, and made room for the veterans to have fun. In the end, they came off the ice to the applause of the adults who paid for it all.

Why can’t life be more like the ice rink? Romans 12:16 says that we should live in harmony with one another. 1 Peter 3: 8 (ESV), “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.”

As I walked away from the ice rink, Psalm 133:1 (ESV) crossed my mind: “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers [and sisters] dwell in unity.” I can hardly wait to get back to the ice rink!

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