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Skating, Falling, and the Most Important Thing You Do

My kids are really excited about skating at Family Skate Night tomorrow (11/15, 6pm at Skateland)! They have never skated before, but they came to Skate Night in the summer of 2022 and were mesmerized by the experience. Their memories are filled with flashing light, Cheeto-stained fingers, and tons of fun. They have been talking about it ever since. But my kids don’t know that skating isn’t going to be super easy. And they aren’t thinking about falling. Those realities aren’t on their minds, but they will fall. And they will struggle. And it will be fun! They are not going to be good at skating from the first moment they step into the rink.

And notice this: Falling won’t be failure. It will be learning. And it will be part of the whole experience.

In Bounce: Mozart, Federer, Picasso, Beckham, and the Science of Success, the author explains that the figure skaters that fell the most in practice did the best in competitions. The ones who were most willing to work on their weaknesses (and fall in the process) improved most.

Okay, okay, so why am I writing this on the church site? Because falling is a part of growing. The Olympic skaters started falling down when they were three. That was the start of their journey to the Triple Salchow. Trying means falling. Falling over and over is the path to succeeding.

If you are a parent, I want to encourage you to start trying to succeed in something that God has called, equipped, and commanded you to do: real, intentional family worship/devotions with your kids. This has challenges with every age and stage, but it is so important. In fact, Joel Beeke, seminary professor and pastor, says, “Family worship is invaluable… I can say to you that family worship time is the most important thing I do in my life.”

God has given you your family. He has given you time together. Why? So that you could raise them to fear and follow God (Eph 6). So that you could teach them diligently every day in every place (Deut 6). It is the most important thing you do.

I’ll be writing more in the next few weeks about how to get the ball rolling with this so that you can have some momentum going into 2024, but my encouragement now is simple: just start. If you start, you’ll fall. But get back up and keep going.

G.K. Chesterton said, “If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.” He meant that we don’t start as experts. Piano players start with choppy versions of “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Basketball players start with a low hoop and a lot of misses. But they don’t stay there. So if family worship/devotional-time is worth doing (and it is), we just need to start doing it. God will work. We will grow. And whole families (our kids AND ourselves) will benefit.



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