It was not until I was sitting on the ski lift that I realised I would have to get off. It was my first time skiing and we were on our honeymoon in New Zealand. I had my gear on and managed to plonk myself onto the lift, skis and all.
It carried me up the slopes and, as I dealt with my fear of heights, it was then I realised something—this lift was not going to stop to let me off! I would have to jump off this thing with these huge, bulky skis strapped to my feet!
Images filled my mind of spending the afternoon going around and around on the ski lift while my husband was already on the slopes.
“What if I can’t get off and I just keep going?” I asked him.
Tony began to give me very concise, clear instructions of how to exit the ski lift and not fall over. I listened very carefully, as I didn’t want to mess this up. Sure enough, the moment to jump approached and he counted me down and said, “Now!”
Nervously, I followed his instructions and successfully dismounted from the lift, smoothly gliding out of the way, and all without falling over. To add to the skilfulness of my dismount, it was snowing so much that day that we could barely see two metres in front of us. I was feeling very proud of myself for a couple of seconds, until I realised I could not see Tony.
I began calling his name. The snow was falling thickly and I assumed he was probably nearby, and I just couldn’t see him through the blizzard. It was then I heard a faint and muffled call from what seemed a fair way away. It sounded like Tony, so I followed his voice and found him down an embankment.
“What are you doing down there?” I giggled. “I thought you knew how to do this?”
I started laughing so hard that I couldn’t see through my tears. It turned out he had never actually been on a ski lift either, and it had been a case of the blind leading the blind.
Sometimes that is how life feels. We are on a path, but the road in front of us is not clear; it may even feel like it is clouded by a blizzard. When change is looming upon us, it’s comforting if we are able to know where it is taking us, but that is rarely the case.
To change the course of our path, sometimes we have to take a leap of faith. We can feel the pull and, though what we are currently doing may be good, we know it is temporary and courage is needed for the next step.
When the time comes and God opens up a new path for us, we need to be ready to jump. It’s exhilarating and frightening all at once.
Believing that God is for us and has a plan and purpose for our lives, we know that leaning on him is the best way to be sure we’re going to have a soft landing.
Sometimes, however, we like to do things in our own strength without seeking wisdom first, but even when we prolong the process by our lack of trust and obedience, God uses these times to grow us, stretch us and mature us.
So if you ever find yourself on a ski lift with no way to get off, listen very carefully to the instructions. You may find yourself gliding to the next ski field with ease, or maybe it will take some practice.
Either way, put your hope in God—he’s got it all worked out and can see much further through the blizzards than we can.
(c) Rebecca Moore 2018