January 17, 2013

It’s January and the very heart of the ski season. 

For those who love to ski, as I do, it is an exhilarating experience in the midst of Gods creation and man’s invention.

Mans invention certainly makes skiing more enjoyable and easier – wide, short and reverse camber skis are one invention that makes skiing easier for more people, as do better binding and boots. But we shouldn’t overlook what man has done to the mountain – groomed slopes, marked trails with difficulty ratings, faster more comfortable chair and gondola lifts, as well beautiful restaurants with plenty to eat and drink.

Then there is the personal gear. We now enjoy warmer, lighter, water resistant clothing and great eye wear and head gear. And how could we ski without our personal music system wafting into our head from our ear buds?

But the main part is still the best and most necessary part. And that is God’s part… His creation.

You have to admit those mountains are beautiful, majestic and inspiring. For me, they invoke a sense of worship – not of the mountain but of the God who put them in place and supervises their existence. And the contrast are amazing – of color; black and white, of vegetation; green and brown, and of water – clear as crystal or blue and flowing down to the valley below.

Yet there is another dimension of a ski mountain that reminds the average venturer of The Creator. Those mountains are cold, ice cold and threatening. Just due to their immense size and impersonal nature of the environment, a perceptive visitor acknowledges he is small and vulnerable in comparison. And that fact invokes a healthy sense of respect for their dominion.

Oh I love to ski. Besides the breathtaking beauty, the awe inspiring majesty or the throat gulping challenge of staring down a black diamond mogul run, I enjoy the exercise – and its aftermath. There is nothing quite like the evening after a full day of skiing. You have that sense of accomplishment, a tired, relaxed chill from being delightfully worn out. And, later, with lungs full of clean mountain air, the whiff of a wood stove and the satisfaction of a well prepared dinner; each bite reminding you that it has been a really good day, one to cherish. Don’t you agree?

But, the best, very best part is the God part. Every time I go to the mountains I am reminded of my God – majestic in Power, grand in Holiness, marvelous in Grace. Therefore throughout my day on the mountain I find myself in spontaneous prayer which naturally flows into grateful praise.

And, really, I always think of one of the Psalmist phrases as I conclude my day…

“I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come? My help comes form the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” – Psalm 121:1-2

Yep, I love to ski because of everything I just mentioned. But these days, I love to go skiing because seeing those mountains reminds me that I need God above all else. A day of skiing might help me forget my troubles a few hours. But a relationship with God provides real 24/7 help throughout my life time and I need that most of all. How about you?

– Article contributed by Jim Coté, President of the Master’s Men ministry.