I went skiing on Friday and Saturday, for the first time in -- I think -- 7 years. It was fantastic. The snow, the weather, the fact that my skis (more or less) did what my mind asked them to do (my, how ski equipment's changed in the 21st century!), the friends I was with. I had so much fun; it was nothing less than yet another generous gift from God's hand of mercy (I say this to remind myself ... "Prone to wander, Lord I feel it...").
My whole body HURTS; when can we go again?
On Friday, we skied with Addie. What's not to enjoy? I think we both surprised ourselves with how quickly we remembered it and how much fun we had. It was such a low-pressure way to get back into skiing. Seriously, I have fantastic friends. I went to bed Friday night with a tired body and a full heart.
Saturday, we skied with people I'd barely met -- a couple my age and his dad. They were a lot of fun, too ... and good. It stretched me a lot (literally) to keep up with them and ski the stuff they were skiing.
Mr. Father-in-law (and later the son -- funny how the same memory is significant for both!) told the story of how dad had brought son skiing as a kid. Being an expert-level skier, he knew what his son could do ... and he'd always push it just a little bit.
Dad would get son on a challenging run, which son thought was too difficult. Son would freak out and refuse to go down. Dad would reassure him -- "I know your skills; I know this mountain. I know that you can do this, and it will make you better. And I'll be with you the whole way."
Eventually, son would concede to try.
Inevitably, dad was right.
I couldn't help but think of this as a great analogy for how God deals with his children. He brings us to increasingly challenging terrain. We freak out (I'm finding myself prone to do that, anyway), but ultimately, we're with a trustworthy Father who knows us, loves us, will get us through, and will grow us in the process.
But man, you can sure be sore the next day! What's the spiritual equivalent to sitting in a hot tub after all that exertion and challenge? If Hot Springs Spas starts carrying one, I'll be first in line. In the meantime, I'm proud of myself for getting back on the mountain, thankful for the friends who got me there, and looking forward to my Sunday afternoon nap!