Roller Derby, Viking Guy and the grace of God!

April 2, 2007

Do you ever feel like maybe you have too much to write? Like if you let it all out it would just blllaaattt onto the page in some Rorschachcian inkblot? Sometimes I do, like today for instance there are all these bits and pieces of brilliant satirical commentary floating around in my head bumping into each other, but it’s like a twenty year high school reunion in there, nobody has anything in common. There is not one coherent paragraph in the lot. It’s like roller derby, everybody circling just bumping into each other trying to get that Jammer to the front of the pack where she can score.


I went to a roller derby for the first time yesterday, probably the last. My little brother calls me up and says he and a friend and another of my brothers are going to the roller derby. Saturday was his birthday so I agree to go along, family entertainment he says. Family entertainment has a different meaning than it used to. Lets just say that the laser tattoo removal ad in their program pretty much summed it up. But all in all it was pretty entertaining, especially Viking Guy.


Out of four teams of “rollergirls” one of them was named the Valkyrie Vixens and among their fans was this guy, mid twenties, medium long brown hair, scruffy beard and glasses, but had that been all I wouldn’t have given him a second glance. The dude was dressed in a loin cloth, two leatherette straps criss crossing his chest, a pair of boots, a Viking hat, and a bright blue fur cape that looked like somebody’s bath mat had given its life to create this thing. I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry. I wish I had had my camera because as God is my witness you all would be looking at a picture of this dude right now!


Do you ever feel like Viking guy? Are there days you suddenly realize the joke is on you? To day was one of those days for me. It started with breakfast. Being a late night kind of guy and setting my own schedule I tend to start the day a little later than the average joe so about 9 I decided I needed some protein and put a couple of eggs on to boil. As is usually the case I got distracted and by the time I got back to them someone had turned them off and they were luke warm. No biggee, I popped them in the microwave and set the timer for 30 sec. One of the eggs, mercifully, exploded in the microwave. I say mercifully because the other burst in my mouth, that’s right! I dang near blew my face off with a boiled egg! Seems the steam builds up in those little suckers, so now I have numb lips, I am not complaining because numb is far preferable to the excruciatingly painful three hours I spent holding ice to my lips this morning!


Actually I kind of envy Viking Guy, he enjoys himself. He is truly committed to his cause, no ambiguity, no crises of faith. Here is a guy who quite literally lets it all hang out! Remember what that felt like? When there was nothing you and God couldn’t tackle? When you were young and courageous, or foolish as the case may be, and nothing could stand in your way? I guess all idealists believe there will never come a day when they see both sides of the coin. When they understand that all men have both good and bad motives and deeds. But the beauty of it is that with that understanding comes the revelation of God’s grace.


You see Viking Guy cannot conceive of a time when he will be a mere fan. He believes that he enjoys the spectacle on a deeper level, that his abandonment gives him special privilege. That his being Viking Guy has a profound effect on the sport of Roller Derby.


I was Viking Guy once. I thought my prayers were more fervent, my commitment to chastity and abstinence from alcohol, tobacco and drugs made me more worthy. My years as the son of a minister gave me deeper scriptural insight, don’t you know? I always had the answer or knew where to look to find it.


And then one day I came to the realization that Jesus didn’t need me. That I was just as messed up as every body else in my own special way. But the ultimate reality was, that that was okay! That he loved me because of my sin, that he died to save me because of who I am. I am not worthy, nor can I ever be, that’s the beauty of it! As Paul said that is not a license to sin, I do not consider myself a spiritual double o 7! Quite the contrary it is this thought of God’s knowing sacrifice (he didn’t suddenly wake up and realize what a huge mistake he was making) somehow is freeing! If he can do what he did then I owe him my allegiance.


Today I live with a deep sense of gratitude. I am beginning to see my place as one of many, no special privileges, no extra credit.Now when I feel a sense of abandonment it’s real! It isn’t based in my pride, my achievements, rather it comes from knowing that I literally have nothing to lose! Naked I came into this world and naked is how I’m leaving. It is all about Him, it has to be, ‘cause deep down inside I’m still Viking Guy!



One comment

  1. good stuff. i’m laughing at the egg story-especially since the whole right side of my head is numb from just leaving the dentist.

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