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Monday, December 8, 2014

Skiing and Patience

Today began as a wonderful day- we were headed off an hour away to go to Northstar Ski resort. During the last storm they received the most snow of all the resorts- 13 inches. We got up early, packed up lunch, doubled checked that we had all the required equipment -skis, poles, boots, helmets, jackets, gloves, ski passes- and headed out the door, excited for a great day of skiing in the sunshine.
We parked in the lot near a shuttle stop and hurried to get ready before the shuttle arrived. When we boarded the shuttle we talked about how much vertical feet we would run...where we would stash out lunch in the lodge and wondered if the mountain photographers would be out on the hill on a Monday.
We FINALLY got to the Gondola and did a little live survey with a marketing employee on the ride up the hill. He was funny and made us laugh as we headed up the mountain.
I stashed the lunch in the lodge while everyone else buckled down their boots and stretched out a bit before we got on the lift.
We got up to the top of the mountain and skiied over for our first run. The snow looked really good and it looked like it would be a really fun run...until we hit some thick, sloppy snow. AKA Sierra Cement.
Now, I love to ski. I have really improved over the past year and I am at the point that I am ready to really move up a notch by making better turns on edge.
It was pretty much impossible in this thick, wet, heavy snow.
Then, the run was funneled into a narrow area where several runs intersected and there were so many people trying to get down the same narrow run with very little control due to the snow conditions.
My fun day of skiing quickly deteriorated into survival. I was nearly hit by some very careless snowboarders. I was very stressed out, my legs were burning with the effort of turning in thick, wet snow and I almost started crying. I was so upset!
I finally got to the group and told them that I was going to the lodge. I didn't want to impede their fun- they made it look easy to get down the hill through that slop. I was upset with myself because I just couldn't do what I know I needed to do to make good turns.
As it turned out, the rest of the group also were not very happy with the snow conditions and were not having much fun, either.
I felt kind of guilty that I wanted to quit so quickly, but I am no fun to ski with when I am miserable. I assumed that they rest of the group were just waiting for me.
We made a decision to leave the ski area and head over to Heavenly Mountain to ski, since the conditions there were much better.
Even though it was about an hour away, every one was in agreement that we didn't want to just stay and fight through the snow.
We went to Heavenly and had a great time.
I thought about my experience today in light of Advent.
I have this expectation sometimes of how things will be- usually because I have spent time preparing and have done some research and even have had some previous experience. If things don't work out the way I expected, I usually have a back up plan. Sometimes, the outcome is so unexpected that I get really upset because, although I know what I can and should do, it just is so much effort and is painful and I don't want to face it.
During Advent, we are supposed to be preparing our hearts and souls for the celebration of the Incarnation of Christ- when God became man...not just the birthday of Jesus. We also are supposed to be preparing for the time when Christ comes again. I think we forget about the second part because it is so much effort than getting ready for the fun of Christmas. It's painful to reflect on our lives and realize that we haven't done what we know we should-and can- do.
I pray that I can really look within and do the spiritual work that needs to be done to be prepared for Christmas- and for when He comes again.
And I REALLY hope that we get some decent snow so I won't have to fight the Sierra Cement unprepared anytime soon!

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