For a boy who grew up less than two hours from the gulf coast, I have become an avid skier. I started well into my adult years, but I have made up for lost time.
I remember very well how I started skiing. My brother kept telling how much fun it is and how I should go. We finally gave in and went to Sugar Mountain, NC. It wasn’t the best skiing, but I was hooked. We immediately booked a trip to Park City, UT.
I have gone every possible year since.
Through the years I have learned many lessons. Some were things like “I’ll never go down that trail again.” Others were life lessons which will last a lifetime.
First, patience is an absolute essential, both with yourself and others. When you ski, you are exhausted and hungry at the end of the day. You deal with lift lines and bulky equipment.
Patience is hard enough in every day life. In skiing it is even more of a need. No wonder God placed patience as a quality of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
Second, when–not if–you fall, get back up. My first day skiing was about as frustrating as anything I’ve ever tried. If you don’t get up when you fall, you’ll never succeed. That, of course, is the way life is. If you are afraid or give up, you’ll never ride a bike or learn to ski. Skiing demands that you not quit or give up. We all need that kind of attitude.
Third, push yourself to do things you think may be too hard. When I stand on the top of a skiing run and look down, it never looks doable. Only when I determine to go beyond what I think possible can I do what I need to do. Life simply demands us to try harder even when we are afraid.
Fourth, use your success as an incentive and encouragement. On our most recent trip, we had the joy of going with our two older grandchildren. Jake has skied several times and has become quite an athletic skier. Chase skied for the first time. Both did well. Their parents and I reminded them to look up the hill to see where they’ve been. Then we reminded them that if they can ski that mountain, they can ski anything. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves that we can do what we need to do even if it looks hard. We know we can do it because we have been successful before.
We need to look at life in this way. The same God who was with me in the past is with me today. I could count on Him then; I can count on Him now. Our God is “our hope in ages past; our help for years to come.” Thank God for His provision.
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