Today I was reminded of why I need God. By nature, and this is no secret, I am over emotional and over dramatic and I over think and analyze absolutely everything. But with God as the love of my life, the thing that never moves, I can bring my over-everything down to a stable level where I can function like a normal human being 🙂
Dina and I woke up bright and squirrelly (because we’re both morning people) at around six in the morning and got ready to head to church to meet up with the rest of the skiers. I was already excited.
We all met up and hopped on a bus to begin the two hour journey to the Poconos in Pennsylvania. The bus ride down consisted of many in-depth conversations concerning Star Wars, Dragon Ball Z, Pokemon, and numerous other myriad nerd stuffs.
Rabbit trail: sometimes your first impression of someone is wrong. Or you think one way about them but assume it’s wrong because you sometimes think too good of people. But then, when you’re trying to figure out exactly what to think and what you, as an individual actually do think, you realize that whether you like their character or not, or whether your personality clashes or melds with theirs, they’re still God’s love. He loves them no matter what, and He knows everything about them. So what right do I have to not love them when I know very little about them? Just a thought.
We arrive at the resort, and as we step off the bus, carrying our duffel bags and putting up our hoods, we are dusted in beautiful flakes of snow falling onto the ginormous slopes looming before us. There are trees everywhere; the only buildings to be seen are the wooden lodge, rental, and store; snow covers the ground.
I begin to wonder, after feeling much better in the open air away from the city (even though I’d only been back one day), how I’m going to survive the second semester. But then I remember I survived the first.
We all grab ski lift tickets, rent out boots, skis, and poles, and layer ourselves like onions. It’s odd; my skiing felt so much smoother and more natural on powdered snow rather than on the icy turf I experienced last week. I learned, as I got my skis, that when I fall the skis will pop off so I don’t tear my leg off. At first this frightened me; I want my skis on my feet, not flying all over the place. But as the day went on, I realized how wonderful this safety feature was. Dina described it like an airbag: they don’t just pop off whenever they want to, or while you’re skiing, only when you’re getting into an accident.
Dina, Emily (a girl from church, who is slowly becoming a good friend of mine), and Antoinette stayed together for the majority of the day. At first, just to get loose, we went on the Bunny Hill. I didn’t fall, so I figured it was a good sign.
For the bigger slopes, there are three colors: green, blue, and black, going from easiest level slope to hardest level slope respectively. We started out on the green. I fell…a lot. I kept falling and falling and falling and I just couldn’t get myself to be confident. At one point I was trying to stop while making a sharp turn and I fell straight forward into my chest, knocking the wind from my lungs and making my upper body seize up and ache for five minutes or so.
Finally, when we were once again at the top of a green slope, I asked Dina how to turn without falling. All she had to do was tell me and then demonstrate and I realized what I had been doing wrong. From that point on, I became better and more confident in my skiing. By the end of the day, I was going down slope after slope without falling, dodging snowboarders and skiers and going over bumps and around sharp turns. I felt pretty awesome.
Near the beginning, Antoinette and I were in the ski lift and we were watching this one girl, who Antoinette described as “coming in hot.” In other words, she was going insanely fast and there was no slowing down. She built up momentum, and only stopped when she collided hard with one of the thick metal poles supporting the ski lift. As we went over her, we suddenly realized it was one of the teenagers who had come with us on the bus.
Sam was skiing down as we went up the lift; we called to him, telling him what had happened. She ended up having to be taken to the hospital and diagnosed with a twisted knee. But when we met up with everyone later in the lodge, she had a smile on her face despite the knee brace 🙂 God is good.
The most challenging slope of all was one of the blues. We had just mastered a green and were continuing on that slope to the left of a fork in the snow (to separate blue and green), when we wondered what the blue slope was like. We had done other blue slopes during the day, but never that one. So we went.
Most. Idiotic. Idea. Ever.
The snow rolled in hills and bumps made for those who are capable of doing tricks. The hill was much steeper than any of the other we’d been on. Everyone of us fell, and I ended up in a ditch near the trees before getting down the hill. The other girls were past me, so I was at the very top of this hill, trying to figure out if it would be easier to walk down (for my skis had popped off when I fell). But I knew if I walked down I’d never hear the end of it. Also, Emily had tumbled right next to me and, when she wanted to walk down, I told her she was good enough to get down the hill without having to walk. And lastly, I don’t give up that easily…or at least, I’d like to think I don’t.
I made it down the hill. Not without great precaution and slow goings, but I made it. I was so glad when it was over.
The wonderful day ended with all of us completing two fantastic runs, where there were tons of people on the slopes and our skills were challenged. We raced to the bottom, some of us using our poles and some of us not. I alternated between using my poles and not using them. We dodged fallen children, shot through gaps, and made powder fly. Oh it was so much fun! 😀
By the time we had returned our rentals, changed, gotten dinner, and began heading back home, my body and brain were spent and my face and hair was harshly blown by the wind. I was ready for a hot shower and fresh clothes. Thankfully, God blessed me with Dina and her hospitality, and she gave me everything I needed to take a shower and be comfortable.
The day was amazing for lack of a better word. The sunset we saw near the end of our adventure was magnificent. We were standing at the top of a slope, looking above the mountains and through trees stripped of their leaves. The warm colors painted across the sky reminded us, regardless of what was going on in our lives, of our poor or fantastic skiing skills, of our everything, that God is great and good and beautiful in every way. He creates things for us to enjoy them. The sunset is probably one of the more practical ones: it not only shows God’s ability to keep us alive (without the sun we’d be dead), but also His ability to blow our minds with a few strokes of His master paint brush 🙂
Thank You, Jesus. I love You.