Bill draws an analogy about having, or “holding” something close to you because it has some value, as opposed to using it for its intended purpose. He made a beautiful comparison between roller skates and religion.
He said (my paraphrasing) that like roller skates, religion is something that should be used, expressed, witnessed, shared, for a purpose. It exists for a reason and that reason is never, to simply be held.
God gives us gifts, be they roller skates or religion or life to be USED.
These are gifts of purpose, not of selfishness. There is nothing to be gained – in this life, or the next, from holding something close to our chest, in protective mode.
These gifts, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM, only have value when we share them.
Bill said very appropriately,
“We can keep it closed up in a box where we can claim possession of it and polish it when we want without risking the bumps and bruises that come with using it. I’ve learned both religion and roller-skates are intended to be used hard and often. To be skilled we must use them regularly. They expand to fit us as we grow.”
I would like to take his point about religion and roller skates and apply it even wider, to life itself.
Each of us has been gifted with life, and beyond that fantastic fact, been given the free will to use it in whatever way we fancy.
We can, like Bill’s roller skating friend, hold it close to our chest, polish it, and think mistakenly that it has inherent value in and of itself.
We can, spend it on ourselves, satisfying our every individual need of self-protection.
Or we can use our lives, our religion, and our purpose to live FULLY, to embrace each moment, to share our good fortune with others, to USE THIS LIFE in a place of love and giving. To pull as many as we possibly can along with us.
Our job, in this life, is to LIVE, to LOVE, and to SHARE it.
To use those roller skates HARD, to use our religion to HELP others, and to LIVE FULLY, sliding into our grave at the end of life, not having safely protected ourselves from the world, but having ENGAGED IT WITH EVERY CELL OF OUR BODY AND SOUL…