Lessons from the Slopes, Part 1

It’s summer in Texas and since I don’t like the heat, I can think of no better time than now to think about snow skiing.

I’m not an expert skier by any means but neither am I a beginner. I’ve learned a few things while on the mountains.

 Lesson 1: Skiing involves a lot of waiting.

Unless you are quite wealthy, own your ski equipment, and have a house on the mountain where you literally open the front door and ski right out to the slopes, you’re going to spend time waiting. You wait in line to be fitted for boots and skis. You wait in line to buy your lift ticket. You wait in line for the chair lift every time you want to go to the top of the mountain. You wait in line to buy hot chocolate and you wait for your fingers and toes to regain feeling. There’s just a lot of waiting on the slopes.

And there’s a lot of waiting in life. I believe it was Beth Moore who said that whatever we’re waiting on, we’re really waiting on God. Excellent point. So what do we do while we wait on God? Check out these ideas.

Lesson 2: You don’t learn to ski by riding the chair lift.

Riding the chair lift gives you a chance to relax and catch your breath.

Riding the chair lift gives you a chance to plan your day.

Riding the chair lift gives you the opportunity to take photos of breathtaking views.

But you don’t learn to ski by riding the chair lift.

You learn to ski by getting off the chair lift, maneuvering over to the top of a trail, planting your poles in the snow and pushing off. Even if you’ve taken ski lessons, you’ll never learn to ski until you go down the mountain. So you adjust your goggles, plant your poles, take a deep breath and push off. Down the mountain you go.

You’ll slip. You’ll slide. You’ll ski a bit. And you’ll fall. You’ll get back up and you’ll slip/slide/ski/fall a bit more.

Then you’ll do it all over again. Slip/slide/ski/fall. Get up. Repeat.

Finally, you get to the bottom of the mountain. Guess what? It’s time to catch your breath while riding the chair lift to the top of the mountain where you’ll slip/slide/ski/fall all over again.

And that, my friend, is how you learn to ski.

Living life is a lot like learning to ski. You fall. You get back up. You make progress and eventually you fall again. But the more you do it, the more you learn. The only way you learn to ski is to ski and the only way you learn to live is to live. I realize that’s not very profound, but sometimes the simplest lessons are the toughest ones for me to learn.

Lesson 3: Sometimes you have to let other skiers help you get up when you fall or you get lost.

Other skiers are happy to help you get back up when you’ve fallen. They’ll first assess the damage and then, if you’re not hurt, they’ll help you get your skis back on and remind you not to point your skis downhill when you attempt to stand up. They’ll give directions, they’ll coach and cheer, and they won’t leave you until you’re back on your feet. If you’re lucky, you’ll have some experienced skiers in your group and you can improve your technique by watching them ski.

Thankfully, God gives us Christian friends who will help us get back up when life knocks us down. If we’re lucky, we’ll have some mature Christians whose lives are worth emulating. The apostle Paul told the believers in Corinth to follow his example (1 Corinthians 11:1). I pray that God puts at least one person in your life whose example is worth following.




  1. Rob Buchanan

    I’ve been riding the ski lift for awhile now up and down the mountain but I recently took my first run in a year and it’s great to be back on the slopes after a nasty wipeout we call a yard sale because your skis and poles are all over the slope! Thank you Deanna for stopping and caring for the burned out and beat up. Peace to you

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