It’s now well and truly spring in Sapporo and besides launching us in picnic, BBQ and outdoor party season… It means one awesome fact.
Long boarding season is ON.
I can walk from my house to my office in 26 minutes.
I can skate there in 14.
Epic, fun times will now be had for the next 6 months, until the cold weather drives me back into subway-usage.
Being a red-haired foreigner, riding a long board, in Sapporo gets you a few strange glances, it must be said. (I like to think they’re secretly admiration… But that is probably delusional…)
This morning I had the morning off work, and so after a rather awesome breakfast with some of my favourite people, I went and had my hair cut by my all-time favourite hair-dresser.
And he asked me, ‘How long do you take to set your hair in the morning?’
I looked at him in a confused way. (Not because I didn’t understand his Japanese, but because no one has ever asked me that question with a straight face before…)
And then I answered.
‘Maybe 5 minutes max. If I’ve washed it.’ (Remember, I’m the girl who doesn’t own a hairbrush…)
He shook his head at me and told me that my resolution for my 30th year of life (I turn 30 next Wednesday) should be to set my hair each day.
I laughingly told him that there’s no point when you skateboard to work. No hair setting is going survive a cruise down the main street of Hokkaido University as high speed.
So, in celebration of this rather fun conversation, and in reflection of the fact that I’ve got loads of writing to do for work…
Here are 5 reasons that long boarding leads me closer to Jesus. I think they’re totally super profound.
1. Long boarding reminds me of freedom. There’s something about a smooth, empty road in front of you, some worship music blaring in your ears and the movement of a carving long board that is just… Free. And in that place, not only can I really worship God, but I’m also reminded of the freedom Holy Spirit brings to every part of my life.
2. Long boarding takes place when the sun is shining. Well, I mean, sometimes when it’s cloudy… But it’s definitely at it’s best when the sun is blazing down on you and warming your frame. And freedom plus warmth is even more of a reminder of the work that Jesus has done and is doing in me. That he hasn’t just freed me from my sin, but His face shines on me to lead me closer to Him and warm my life.
3. Long boarding is a relaxing way to travel. It really is. I see people walking with their heads down. I see people driving in heavy-stressful-traffic. I see people cycling (which in Japan is just a bit crazy!) And then I long board. Faster than the walking commute, but slower than the road traffic (sometimes). Meandering. Cruising. Chilling. As I travel. It reminds me that journeying with Holy Spirit means I can live life at His pace, even when everyone around me is rushing to focus on all the wrong things.
4. Long boards look cool. They do. Long boards, are just cool. People notice you when you ride one. Especially as a red-haired foreigner in Sapporo. People stop. They look. They ask. Which reminds me of what happens all the time at a Christian. People notice you’re different. People stop. They look. They ask. And in that relational, natural way, Jesus is lifted high.
5. Long boarding lets you feel the wind in your hair. Considering my day’s conversations this could well be the most important. There’s something sweet about a cool wind blowing against your hair and skin as you’re skating. And that reminds me of the refreshing the Holy Spirit brings to me. That He fills me and is around me and never, ever leaves me. And that’s where my refreshing lies. That’s where my encouragement lies. That’s my source. And I guess, just like that feeling means that I sacrifice perfectly set hair in order to feel the wind in mine… So any sacrifice that we make in order to meet with the Holy Spirit in a deeper way is far surpassed by the joy He brings to our hearts.
So, now I need to do some work.
But here you have it.
Let your weekend begin with 5 reasons long boarding leads me to fall more in love with a God who did everything to be close to me.
And enjoy some photos of the awesome breakfast I ate with my friends this morning!