Growing up in Florida doesn’t afford you the opportunity or distinct pleasure of seeing snow much less playing in it. And so at the adventurous age of twenty-one, me and my best friend ventured to a place I knew would provide us all those opportunities at once – Steamboat Springs, Colorado. We booked our flights, lodge room, and plenty of good times. Colorado, get ready for two snow bunnies who had never steppe foot on the white, powdery stuff before. We were two naive, self confident Floridians.
Allow me to cut to the chase, or should I say, slope? After a full day of ski lessons on the bunny slope, we made the decision to ax the beginner bumps and go for something that would actually get us a little more speed and incline. Skiing on flat surfaces had afforded us the mistaken confidence that we could conquer any hill that day. Our pride had taken over, and we were no longer naive, little girls from the Sunshine state – we were now snow skiing experts. Have I set this up well enough to move on?
“Picture it – Sicily, 1935” – Oops, sorry, wrong show, that’s “The Golden Girls.” I just had a funny thought – we may not have been far from that. After all, their show was based in Florida. LOLLLLLL!!!! Back to the story – oh I’m in trouble already.
First time on a ski lift is also fun. We did manage to jump of without wiping out – yet another boost to our new found confidence on snow. We got this baby!
As we stood atop what they labeled a medium run, yes I said medium, we had bypassed the smaller run, we looked at each other as to say “You go first,” only funny that neither of us wanted to be the first one.
Well I certainly wasn’t going to show fear at this point, and so with a BIG push from my poles, I started my descent down the slope. A BIG push wasn’t the first miscalculation I had made. Oh no, thinking I could even ski down such a slope was were I made my error. Have you ever been skiing, and off in the distance you hear screaming, high pitched screaming, from a dot skiing down the slopes? Yes, that screaming dot would be me.
I had seriously miscalculated the equation before me: ” Speed + downward force + very naive Floridian + snow + two left feet + pride = A very fast, straight forward, not so pretty, nor graceful descent downward, headed towards the ski lodge at the bottom of the hill. At what seemed like a hundred miles an hour, somehow I managed to stay upright the ENTIRE way down, despite the screaming, and pleading for mercy from the Lord above (Obviously he had a plan for my life AND answers prayer).
As I got closer to the bottom, I could see that behind the panes of glass in the lodge, people pausing in mid bite of their burgers for a moment to see if they needed to get out of the way from the screaming skier headed in their direction.
Obviously, the PIZZA PIE STOPPING TECHNIQUES DO NOT WORK IN THIS SCENARIO! Being in the insurance industry now, they should really post signs for people like me at the top of the hill – “WARNING – PIZZA PIE TECHNIQUES DO NOT WORK ON THIS SLOPE! SKI AT OUR OWN RISK!” Thank you Risk Management Department!”
By the grace of God go I because when I got to the bottom, I stopped about fifty feet short of the big plate glass windows of the lodge. The families behind the glass were very happy to know I wouldn’t be ruining their lunch. I turned around, as this was the first chance I had to look back, only to witness my best friend come down the slope and do the best wipeout, head over feet, yard sale display I had ever seen live, to avoid hitting the tree. When she finally made it to the bottom, we both took off our skis and retired from skiing for the rest of the trip. The next four days did not go as originally planned. Can you say lots of snow angels and snow ball fights?
We had come, we had conquered, and we had tucked tail back to the lodge.
As I write this, of course I am reminded of a few verses in the Bible: Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”
Another one would be this: Proverbs 11:2, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”
I think its safe to say our pride brought us down off the mountain that day. We had made a serious error in judgment, thinking we could do that, and approached the slope with an arrogance that nearly cost us our lives.
Father I thank you for being with me back then. I thank you Lord that I didn’t experience the yard sale that day. Help me Lord to always be mindful of pride and to keep it in check. Father continue to give me wisdom on how to handle every situation that comes my way. Lord I’m perfectly fine keeping both feet on solid, flat ground. Thank you for the laughter I found in the message this morning Lord. In Jesus name I pray, amen.
P.S. Forgive me for the length of today’s message. Have a great day in the Lord! If you need the definition of a “yard sale”, you hadn’t skied before.
In His Service
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