In the mid 90’s I was in Jr. High School and all out for skateboarding and absolutely nothing else. My skateboarding idol of those days was Rodney Mullen, the most innovative and progressive skateboarder of our time. Rodney Mullen still has, to this day, the best professional contest record in all of skateboarding. Rodney won almost every contest, placing 2nd only one time in his professional career as a freestyle skater in the 1980s. A world champion for an entire decade! Today he is seen by many as the genius innovator behind street skateboarding. Anyone who knows their skate history could go on and on about Mr. Mullen and his contributions to the sport. I am however honing in to make a particular point that has had an impression on me personally for over 15 years.
I remember reading an anniversary edition of Thrasher mag in the mid 90s that featured legends of the sport such as Rodney Mullen. Context: I was reading about my hero as a small town kid with big hopes and dreams to become a pro skater, make money, and travel the world. The words that impacted me the most, and still to this day, was when Rodney talked about how futile his achievements felt to him. He described his past skating career as having a castle that he could never go inside and enjoy, but instead spent all of his time guarding it on the outside. Even now, all these years later, I can appreciate more than ever the honesty of Rodney Mullen back then and now. The crazy thing is he wrote those words when he was my age now back then. I don’t know where Rodney is in his walk with the Lord Jesus or how he is doing. I’ve met him just a few times in passing and we really never connected. I am however still a fan.
As I now move into my 10th year as a professional skater and minister and take an honest look back over the years, I can say it has never been about winning contests or how many sponsors I have or making money. There has been a battle here and there for those things… BUT, My focus has always been about seeing people come to know the Lord Jesus and have a relationship with God.
You see 10 years ago I died to all those things the moment I gave my life to Jesus Christ and from that moment on all the things of this world and this life are seen as passing away and futile. My heart goes out to those who still feel that they have to stand guard outside their castles. I know, for me, Jesus Christ lives in me (my castle) and He can rearrange and decorate whatever He wants at anytime. After all, it’s all His to begin with. As my focus continues to be on the eternal things of God and not living for the approval of others or material stuff, I must say I have really enjoyed all the years I have been able to shine the light of Christ through this silly toy called a skateboard.
This photo is of Rodney Mullen and me back in 2002.