Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ski School...learning to get up!

This weekend was our first time skiing in probably 6-7 years. All three of my children were hitting the slopes for the first time. The pictures to left and right are me (a little bit rusty, but you can tell I've still got it--kind of sore today, though:-). The one in the middle of the slopes face down is my wife...okay, okay, it's a stock photo (I live with her--it wouldn't have gone well if I didn't fess up!) Plus in reality--she is a much better skier than me.

Ski School:

So, the kids all went to "ski school" which was almost a complete waste of time. I say almost, because the one very good thing they learned was "How to get up when they fall". Something, by the way, that most Christians never learn very well in their relationship with God--churches aren't great at teaching this either! Learning to get up is a very important part of the journey!

So, I was in charge of teaching Brayden to ski (after ski school?), and it was literally exhausting for me. Not physically, although "I ain't as good as I once was..." but it was exhausting emotionally because I wasn't a very good ski instructor. I was somewhat impatient.

An Aha Moment:

You've had them...aha moments where something clicks. Usually it is very simple--- I was behind Brayden as we rode up to the top of the "Bunny Slope" and was explaining how skiing wasn't a natural motion (We saw numerous awkward wipe outs from people to confirm that theory). I told him that we have to teach our mind and body what to think and do and then practice it over and over until one day we do it with out thinking...but it takes tons of practice.

Short and sweet (Aha!)...Paul, an early follower of Jesus, said the same thing about our spiritual life and following Jesus. If you are new in your relationship to God, or coming back after a while away, or maybe you've just never been taught---THIS IS HUGE. Growing in your relationship with Jesus takes practice and work--it isn't automatic. At first it feels un-natural. You have to teach your mind and body what to think and do and do it over and over again.

In 1 Timothy 4:7 Paul says we must "...train ourselves up for godliness." That word train (Gumnazo) is the word we get our word gymnasium from. It means "to exercise vigorously either the mind or the body." In other words, it may not feel natural or easy, and will require the engagement of our thoughts and actions. Going to the next level will require more than simply listening or participating in Sunday church. BUT, THE RESULT IS WORTH THE EFFORT! There's nothing like drawing close to God in a personal way.

By the end of the day all three of my children were skiing from the mountain top down one of the blue squares, like little pros! (Angie, took over teaching Brayden and did much better). They didn't necessarily enjoy ski school (Gumnazo) but they loved the slopes! I know our experience with Jesus will be that and much more--so get to the gym and start training!

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