I cautiously glided down the bunny hill on my rental skis, coaxing my muscles to remember the hobby I'd ditched 25 years earlier for the sake of college, career, and family. As it turns out, skiing is a lot like riding a bicycle; you don't forget how to do it. After a few easy runs, I caught the lift to the green and blue-diamond trails while ski instructors gave my four children their first lessons on the slopes.
As I zig zagged down "Main Street", a wide hill with plenty of room, my 40-something self felt young and cool again. That is, until a 10-year-old snowboarder skimmed by, startling me and nearly landing me on my butt. Sadly, my young and cool days were behind me.
I lifted my eyes, then, away from my pigeon-towed ski tips to take in the churning action on the slopes. Skiers and snowboarders of every skill level raced, snowplowed, and bombed down the hill leaving telltale trails of their prowess. Only our presence on this blue-diamond hill united us.
Snuggled into our lift-side bungalow the night before, my friend, Renee', and I had left our husbands and kids in the living room while the two of us claimed a quiet corner to catch up. Over the hum of snow machines and groomers, we chatted about our demanding teaching jobs and busy schedules, the exhaustion that plagued us in early March. Then, our conversation turned to our current spiritual journeys, where God was pressing in to reveal his truth.
Whereas Renee' had committed to read through the Bible in 2017, I had pulled back to read only a chapter a night. We both revealed our secrets.
"Sometimes I feel overwhelmed when I collapse into bed and still have a chunk of Bible reading on my to-do list," she shared.
"Sometimes I feel like a baby Christian when I can only tackle a chapter a night," I blurted.
It was obvious we had both bought into the comparison trap and the idea that God's love for us was contingent upon our own man-made sets of rules. Speaking our fears to each other brought release and the freedom to live from grace.
I often lament that I will never be a spiritual prophet like Ann Voskamp, or a great evangelist like Beth Moore. I frequently shoot arrow prayers into the heavens from the captain's chair of my minivan, rather than from an hour-long benediction on my knees. Thankfully, my savior's rescue does not depend on my own righteousness, but on my seeking and acceptance of him. Where I fall short, Jesus catches me and reminds me that he alone is enough.
Like my experience on the slopes that day, God has secured a place for all of us. Speed demons who jump every mogul, novices who spend their days snowplowing down the bunny hill, tricksters who bob and weave and jump, and cautious souls who meander down the banks to avoid a trip to the ER. It is not our experience or our agility that guarantee our position on the hill. It is the fact that we made the decision to strap on skis and ride the lift to the summit before blazing our own paths in the fresh, white snow.