075 - Reflections on a Ski Trip

"In the Midst of Thee" - volumes 1 & 2 contain 200 favorite Glenn Rawson Stories - at: History of the Saints . org

From “In the Midst of Thee” – volume 1.

You know, sometimes the most commonplace of people and events can teach the most profound lessons if you look carefully. May I explain?

Recently, I took my three oldest children and went cross-country skiing. Now, at the beginning of our adventure, the four of us encountered a very steep hill. Now, we’re all beginning skiers. So while three of us were gingerly inching our way down the hill, my ten year old daughter, who seems to have no fear, suddenly came flying past us digging in her poles for all the speed she could get. She stayed upright all the way to the bottom of the hill, until her skis went tip first into a drift, and she biffed it right in the drift. Well, she came up laughing; I was laughing too. From the top of the hill I thought, ‘why not?’ and so I cut it loose. I made it all the way to the bottom too, and then landed in a pile right next to her.

Lesson number one: Sometimes in life we are a little too timid. We need to trust the Lord and throw ourselves into life and relationships. So what if we crash once in a while? The fun was worth it.

Now later, the weather on our ski trip turned into a blizzard. I had promised the children when we found the warming cabin at the top of the trail, we’d have hot chocolate and candy for a feast. Well going toward the cabin, it became very difficult, so they began to chant, “Hot chocolate, cabin, candy; hot chocolate, cabin, candy” over and over as loud as they could. Well, we got all the way up to where we thought the cabin should be, and then we couldn’t find it. I don’t think it was there. It was a discouraging moment. We had to turn around and start back without the fire, without the candy, and without the hot chocolate. And you know, there was not one word of whining. What good would it do?

Lesson number two: Sometimes we have to be our own best cheerleader. The world is full of whining sour faced pickle suckers. We don’t have to be one of them. Life is really a lot of fun if you think about it.

Well, we trudged along falling frequently until we came to another steep drop-off. At this point, my oldest daughter went off. She made it about ten feet, and – she went face first right into the snow. She came up cold and wet, and sputtering. I heard her mutter as she got up, “I skied up it; I’ll ski down it.” She got up, she went just a short distance, and down she went again. This time, as she got up I heard her say, “Well, at least I’m getting good at picking myself up.” When she was then upright, she repeated, this time through clenched teeth, “I skied up it; I’ll ski down it.” She did too, all the way to the bottom.

Lesson number three: We all need to get good at picking our self [ourselves] up. Life certainly has a way of knocking us down, and that frequently. And also, God’s way isn’t always the easiest way, but it certainly is the most thrilling. Don’t take your skis off; don’t give up, just because the hill gets steep.

Now finally, at one point during our trip, my younger daughter took off her skis, and the bindings became iced; she couldn’t get them back on. When I came on the scene, I found my son standing in several feet of snow with bare hands and a pocketknife trying to get his sister on her way. He was cold and wet. Now, he could have skied on by – went right on down the hill, but he didn’t.

Lesson number four: I hope he never does. Stopping to help is exactly what his Savior would do.

In conclusion: All things considered, the skiing conditions were lousy that day, but the learning conditions were excellent.

Glenn Rawson – January 1998
Music: Horizons, track 7 (edited) – Keirre Lewis
Song: Return with Honor – Kenneth Cope, De Azevedo, Michael, Webb