It May Not Be Your Gift

18 03 2018

Before my knees gave out, I used to love skiing; nothing like swooshing down the side of hill on a beautiful Winter day.  By no means was I great skier, I usually stayed on long Rock _nintermediate slopes where I could get in a good run but not at neck break speed, not like my sons and their snowboards. Those boys could do moves, stunts and reach speeds I wouldn’t even attempt. That’s one of the nice things about skiing, the skill levels ran the gambit. There were ones you’d think could compete in the Olympics, others at my skill level and a good number of beginners or nervous nellies who looked awkward making their way down the easiest runs. Which brings me to this week’s story.

My oldest son and I were at a great ski resort in West Virginia; great, well-groomed runs in beautiful scenery. As nightfall came they’d turn on large lights set on poles that lit up the whole area in an atmosphere of pure enchantment. Jeremy was off tackling double black hills, the hardest and fastest slopes, and I had paired up with a guy to do a different run, not as hard but still could test your skill level. We had made our way back to the top via the ski lift when I spotted the man and woman standing near the starting point and he was talking very gently to her. “Now honey, you’ve been on the bunny slope all day and you’ve done great. Now it’s time to try something harder and you’re going to be fine, just stay relaxed and remember the things I’ve taught you.” With that he skied gracefully down the slope about 20 feet, came to a stop and then powered his way back to her. “I just don’t think I can do this,” she said with a sick looking face as she stared in near fright down the hill. “I know you can do this, I have faith in you,” he responded. He promised he’s stay close and me and my new friend said we’d go also for support. “No!” she shouted out. “I have to do this without anyone near me or I’ll get more nervous.” Finally, the moment of truth came, she pushed off with her poles to start the descent down the hill. “You’re doing great sweetheart,” her husband called after her. The first little bit she seemed okay, but as she built up speed her legs came apart as if she was astride a very large horse. Going in a straight line she moved faster and faster, arms out to her side. She was now in a spread-eagle position traveling high velocity speed down the course looking like an accident waiting to happen. And it did. One of her skis crossed in front of the other causing her to fall hard. With an explosion of snow she rolled and crashed some 50 yards down the slope, skis coming off and going in different directions. When she came to a stop she laid there motionless and facedown. The three of us shot down to her as fast as we could with her husband reaching her first. “Honey, are you alright?!!” Still gripping one of her poles I was glad I wasn’t any closer to her than I was. She turned over and swung that pole hard catching her husband across the leg. “No I’m not alright! I’m cold, I’m wet, I’m hurting and embarrassed! I hate being out here, I hate skiing, and I HATE YOU!!!! Now get away from me!” My friend gave me a look that said this would be a good time to leave and we headed down the hill with the husband following after us at a slower speed I’m sure nursing a very sore leg. We I looked back up the slope; the wife had gathered her gear from the snow and was walking down the side hill. The couple disappeared into the lodge with the husband staying a safe distance behind and I never saw them again. Looking back now, it gives me a chuckle I must say, but once again I learned a little something. So here goes.

It was pretty obvious the wife was out there only because her husband wanted her to. The problem was she really didn’t have the ability, nor did she want to have any. Seems she bowed to pressure and gave in. Perhaps she forgave hubby and later gave it another try and prevailed. At least on the first part I hope! That brings to mind times when different ones have told me I believe God is calling you for this or that and you’d be great in this ministry. Oh really? And why did God tell you and not me?!! I’m not trying to be anti at taking advice from others, but I’m a firm believer if I’m walking with God the way I should, He’s going to put in my heart the direction He has chosen for me. 1 Peter 4:10 tell us, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” I have found myself trying to succeed in ways that just weren’t meant for me, not my gift. And I was miserable, and I failed miserably. It might have been the right path for someone else, but it was not what God had called me for. When I realized what my gift was and now to use it in the service of the one I call Lord it brought me great joy in using it and learning from others who could teach me more. Steve Harvey once said, “I’m going to take this God-given gift of being funny, and I’m going to spread it out like peanut butter on everything I do.” That’s love of your gift, and that’s love for the One who gave it to you. I think I used this once before, but it bears repeating. “Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.”

I wonder occasionally about those “Travelers of the Rock Road.” If they’re like my me and my Lady, they look back on that night and laugh about it now. You see Cathy and I have many things in common, but also giftedness in different areas, that’s how God made us for whatever He’s prepared us for. Trying to force something we think each other could or should do never workes out. And after that day on the slopes I’m sure not going to force her to do something that puts a stick in her hands!

See ya next time.


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