Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)
The signs said: “Beware of Snow Cats.” And after a ride up the mountain, a measure of courage was added to my life that day.
At approximately five feet high and eight feet wide—you couldn’t miss them. Large warning signs strategically placed every now-and-then on the sides of the ski trails of Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen, Colorado. After three days of skiing—our then ten-year-old son, Nathan—pointed to one of the signs as we were riding the ski-lift to the top of the mountain, and asked, “Daddy, have you seen one yet?”
“Seen what, Nathan?”
“A Snow Cat!” Further discussions with my young son as we rode the lift, heading to the top of Buttermilk Mountain, revealed that the “snow cats” he believed the signs were referring to were of the mountain lion, snow leopard or comparable other dangerous animal variety. I stifled the chuckle that began to rise from within, and instead explained through a gentle smile that what the signs were referring to were the snow-plow-like machines that drove up and down the slopes packing down the snow; machines otherwise referred to as “snow cats.”
“Oh,” he breathed through a deep sigh of apparent relief.
But here’s the key for you and me to remember—despite believing that at any given moment a mountain lion or leopard could leap out of the trees and bushes while he skied down the slopes—Nathan never stopped skiing. His courage in the face of “real danger” taught me a lot that day about the strength and courage that is within us to deal with whatever we might face in life.
If your journey was anything like mine in 2009, you faced your share of “snow cats”—real or imagined. Whether the loss of a loved one or a much-needed job, or facing an illness that reared its ugly head again. Perhaps you are still trying to figure out how to help your child find their way in the world, or wondering just what your real purpose in life was meant to be.
Yet here we stand, having made it through all we faced in this past year—2009, to find ourselves once again on the threshold of the beginning of a brand new year. A year—2010—that is full of uncertainty, yet also a year jam-packed with unlimited possibility.
A year in which you will have the chance to finally change that one habit you should have changed a long time ago. A year where you mend a fence, build a bridge, and lift a life that needs lifting—and maybe in the process find that yours is lifted also. A brand new year where you realize that there is no reason why you can’t do this or do that—whatever it is that you have always dreamed of doing.
A year in which you realize that you may not always get where you set out to go, you may fall short too often to keep count, or you may have to keep your eye on too many warning signs at times—but a year with unlimited potential and possibility. And all it may take to realize things you never have realized before, to accomplish things you’ve only dreamed of up to now—is a bit of courage that allows you to just keep on skiing past all the problems, obstacles, uncertainties you and I will face.
And maybe in the process we will even come to a place where we realize, as the Apostle Paul did when he penned that verse above, that all the courage we will ever need is available in and through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
I don’t know what mountains or valleys, obstacles or uncertainties you will face in 2010. I do know, though, that the God Who created you did so for a purpose and will be with you in whatever you face. I don’t know what problems, disappointments or set-backs you will experience in 2010, but I do know that the God Who set the stars in the heavens has all the strength sufficient for you to overcome whatever it is.
I don’t know what scary “snow cat” moments you will face in 2010, but my suggestion; no actually, God’s suggestion to you is—to just keep on skiing, with Him.
“Beware of Snow Cats!” Sure. And then keep on skiing!
Happy New Year!
In His Name—Scott