As a family we went snow tubing recently. We have a lake close by that has this hill. They groom the hill to have 6 lanes with berms separating them in which people grab a tube, step on a conveyor belt that brings them to the top of the hill just to race down the hill on the said tubes. Once at the bottom the process gets started over again. You do this over and over again, and while you are going up the hill you can watch the people go down the hill. The sport of it is, who can go down the fastest and who can jump the berms the best without taking themselves or other people out in the process. You start to get the feeling of which lanes are actually faster and if you go down on your belly vs. your butt if you can gain speed. Most of the time people end up in other lanes and sometimes there are wipeouts, but as a collective whole the people tubing understand the “risks” and still go flying down the hill.
On this trip one of my children had reservations about going down the hill due to the wipeout he had had last year. He thought for certain it would happen again, to the point that he let me know he was fine being at the bottom of the hill taking pictures vs. getting to the top to make a purpose for those pictures. I understood his reservations but secretly hoped he would at least try a couple of times before planting himself in a chair at the bottom. To my surprise we arrived, he grabbed a tube, got to the top of the hill and didn’t stop until we had to go. It was a proud momma moment for me only because he decided himself to step out of his fears and just go for it.
This is a topic I talk with my kids often about, stepping away from what makes them fearful and anxious to try something new. They won’t experience life if they allow fear to rule them. Sounds like good advice huh? It is so hard to follow sometimes especially when you are looked at for the example. The tubing hill wasn’t very big in comparison other tubing hills out there. When we had gone it was a time in which a lot of young families were there as well. I am talking young kids ages 2-5 years old being asked to be brave as their parents hold on tight and they both go flying down the hill. One little girl in particular got to the top without issues but once the prospect of going down the hill on a tube was placed in front of her she froze. Then the tears came and there was no amount of consoling from her dad that could convince her she needed to go flying. After the third attempt at trying to convince her she would be safe in dad’s arms he finally asked the attendant how he could get off the hill. Sadly the way he was told was more difficult that just hoping in a tube and sailing down, but his daughter had made the choice for him and so they set off through the woods lining the lanes to hoof it down to the bottom.
The little girl’s fear was rational in her mind and she put her foot down. Her father’s knowledge that they would be safe in the tube together could not get pushed past the barrier she had put up. Fear does that to us. We get tunnel vision, we see the fear or the problem and only that and we miss the opportunities that could help us to overcome the fears. In more ways that I can count we are like the little girl, but what I would hope is that we would look our fear in the face and do what my son did and overcome it.
When we finished tubing for the day, I asked my son if he had fun, in which he replied “Yes!” and then followed up with the question of when we could go tubing again. When I look back over the years, months, weeks or even days and see moments in which I allowed my fears and anxieties to overcome me, it’s in those times that I had put barriers up that made me not hear my Father telling me I would be safe. Christ doesn’t ever leave us, but when we are so consumed in our fears, in our way of living, in our judgements, we can’t hear His voice. Sometimes this means that we have to take the hard way “down the hill” but even there we are never alone. Imagine the pure joy we would have if we trusted, listened for His voice and even if we were anxious, scared or doubtful we went into His arms because when there we are safe.
When facing your mountains are you looking for the hills in which you can overcome them in the safe embrace of Christ’s love? Until next time:
I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy, I’m telling you it will be worth itunknown
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Rae’s New Shine Children’s Book
One day Rae woke up and felt different. When she looked at the people around her they seemed to “shine brighter” than she did. When she finally prayed about it and asked her mom for help, she realized she didn’t know her own worth. She didn’t believe in herself and felt dim compared to others. Once she started to see she was talented and worthy her shine came back.