This was the weekend of surprises, the unexpected, and surrendering myself to the Maker of skill hills.
Yes, I still went skiing with my youth group as planned. Yes, we made it up safely and quickly on Friday night. I remembered all of my gear, brought enough money for a day pass, and even met up with my good friend who had been planning to board that day as well. Seemingly, everything was in place on Saturday morning.
However, God decided to surprise me and my day was nothing like it was supposed to be. The “fun run” my friend persuaded me to go on and the 40 cm of snow left me stuck and stranded until help came ten minutes later. After I got back onto the right track, I found myself helping a little girl get her skis back on. Just as everything was as smooth as could be, I wiped out again and lost both of my skis. It took my forever to get them back on. I’m not even kidding when I say that I skied just one run on Saturday morning.
Needless to say, I was exhausted, discouraged, and downright frustrated by the time I met up with my youth group for lunch. My limbs ached, and coat dripped from all the falling. I looked around for my friend, who I had long since lost in the snow of the mountain, and was disappointed to find him nowhere. I bit into an apple with disgust and thought of how much better everything could have been. I tried not to show my feelings but inside I was saying, “Thanks a lot, God.”
“Why are you crying?” He asked, as I leaned my head against my skis outside of the lodge. Since my other plans had fallen through, I’d decided to ski with two of my new youth group friends. The only problem was, another surprise had occurred — their rental skis had gone missing! We’d searched high and low, but they were nowhere to be found. Finally, my friends had gone inside to inquire about new skis while I waited at the rack.
“I’m not crying.”
“I know what you’re feeling,” He whispered.
“Yeah, I’m kind of upset I guess,” I sighed. “I got stuck a lot. Nothing worked out. Nothing is working out. This isn’t how it is supposed to be.”
“Because it’s not how I planned it.”
“How you planned it? What about how I planned this weekend? Why don’t you trust me, child? Where is your faith?”
I bit my lip. “I do trust you!” I said. “I told you that earlier!” I thought back to our conversation at the top of the ski hill, when my legs were deeply sunk into the snow. I’d tried to convince Him that I had enough faith for Him to dig me out.
“Then why don’t you just let me lead you? Why do you insist on your plan all the time? What if I have something different for this weekend and it is better? I love you.”
By then, I was crying. The tears were hidden by my goggles and scarf, but they were there. I had forgotten His wisdom and more importantly, His love. Forgotten. How could I? I didn’t even forget my ski socks, yet I forgot about my Saviour. I forgot His plan and how good it is. I forgot to put Him first because He loves me more than anyone else in the world.
It was a ski hill surrender, in goggles and mits. I decided to trust and accept His love. I promised to let Him back in and show me just what He wanted. The rest of my weekend was great. I can’t say that it was how I planned it or that I didn’t have any more rebellion. It wasn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination. We had some wipe outs, lost a few more skis, and went to bed with sore limbs. At one point, we took a wrong turn and my friend crashed into me with her skis. But all the way through I heard Him calling for trust and I said, “Yes, Lord.” It wasn’t easy, but it was right. The rewards came — I made two new friends, learned how to ski in powder, had some great conversations and moments, caught up with old friends, and played a new card game. It was good. It wasn’t my plan but it was His and it was better.
Tonight I’m going to bed with sore legs and a heart that knows that trust is hard, surrender is harder, but still God is best.