Van Helsing, King Solomon & Skateboards

Several of my buddies from the 70s will know what I mean when I say it doesn’t take much to crush your groove when you’re flying down the street on a skateboard. We used to tackle the longest, steepest hills in town, many times to our regret. There’s nothing like soaring on a board at breakneck speed, nothing but wind between you and street.

But it took about half a second for a small rock to get stuck under one of your wheels, and the next thing you knew you were either diving for someone’s yard at 30 miles an hour, or rolling down the street, literally head over heels. I recall some of my friends getting broken bones, while others of us came home with blood on our hands and gravel embedded in our knees.

It was all part of the experience. As is pain.

I hope to someday make sense of the chronic pain I suffer, but if not, I can’t spend too much time dwelling on it. Such a thing can drive a man to madness.

Back to my point, however: it doesn’t take much to crush your groove. You can be rollin’ along, things going great, and all of a sudden… BAM!…it hits. Your dad dies or your pipes freeze over or your roof caves in from termites or your best friend is diagnosed with cancer. That’s when the clouds roll in.

Pain is part of the experience of life. I love the line from “Van Helsing” when he is attempting to free Frankenstein’s monster from his confines. He says, “This is gonna hurt.” The beast replies, “I am accustomed to pain,” and Van Helsing smiles, almost maniacally, and says, “It lets you know you’re alive!”

One of the wisest (some would say “the” wisest) men to ever live, King Solomon, stated in Ecclesiastes 9:6 that it’s too late for the dead “to share in the human struggle.”

Struggle is what binds us together. Affliction, fear, conflict and death are all part of life. To hide from the darkness is folly, my friends. The trick is to engorge yourself with so much light, the dark cannot overtake.

It will come, yes, but can only achieve victory if you allow it.

So let the small things come. Let the big things come. You will survive, and might even have a riveting story to share with others.

As the saying goes, “don’t sweat the small stuff, because it’s all small stuff.” Someday it won’t matter so much…

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