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  • Erik Hatch

I went to Skateland.

That’s right…we took our confirmation students to Skateland (Fargo’s local roller-skating

Skateland in Fargo, ND

rink) for our year-end party. The place is so funny and outdated. There were two 40-something regulars who were tearing it up all over the rink. It appeared as though they are probably there every night, showing up the 9-12 year olds. Wow, did they make me giggle. I’m pretty sure one of them did a double axel…

But there was this couple – they were not a part of the regular Skateland crowd. How could I tell, you ask? Well, they weren’t donning pimples or braces…and there was no sign of their Skateland season pass swirling around as they showed up the kids. Plus, they were in their 70’s, so I think that was also a pretty good sign that they weren’t regulars.

I found out that this couple was celebrating the woman’s 71st birthday – so her husband brought her to Skateland. Now I’m not an overly sappy person, but that is absolutely adorable. How touching it was to see this couple slowly skate around the rink, hand in hand. The grins on their faces shone ear to ear.

I hope that for my wife’s 71st birthday, we do something like roller skating – or go-carts – or paintball. Well, maybe not paintball. I already bruise like a peach…

God has a pretty soft-spot in his heart for those who are childlike. It says this in Matthew 18: At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus goes on to say in Matthew 19, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

So if I read this correctly, Jesus says that the kingdom of heaven belongs to the 71 year old roller skaters…and the mom who makes snow angels with her kids…and the businessman who puts a whoopee cushion on their co-worker’s seat.

Blessed are the innocent, the free-spirited, the excited, and the ones who are have the joy of the Lord in their heart.

So may you pull a practical joke today. May you play hide and seek with your neighbors. May you eat ice cream straight from the carton. May you dance like nobody’s watching. And may you experience the joy of the Lord, just as a child would do.

See you at Skateland!

Erik Hatch

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