Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Friends in High Places

Who is God but the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God...
He makes my feet like hind's feet
And sets me upon my high places...
You enlarge my steps under me,
And my feet have not slipped...
The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock.
(Psalm 18:31, 33, 36, 46)

The past week is a jumble of bright sun, snowflakes, laughing, bratwurst and bier, praying, and learning. Most of all, our week-long jaunt to the German and Austrian Alps took us out of our everyday routine and stuck us in a place where we could not be reached by the ebbs and flows of everyday concerns, Internet, and the like. Off the grid...

Waiting, every muscle in my body is tense as I wait for the right moment. Here it comes -I'd better not fall again, like last time in front of God and everyone - here it comes around, whoop! I made it. The chair swoops up into the blue and forward and back a few times, just enough to give me butterflies for a moment. Then, silence. I have the impression that the stately pines are staring me down as I glide up the hill. What is she doing here? The delicious feeling that nothing that beeps or rings can reach me here. I have time. Time to think. Or not.

The mountains grow bigger and bigger as we ascend. I attempt some small talk with the people I know and love, and we are eventually hushed by our majestic surroundings. It is the calm before the storm.

For an inexperienced skier like myself, the "storm" means the trip downhill. There is something about strapping long, immovable pieces of fiberglass and metal to my feet and catapulting myself down a steep snowy incline that incites some apprehension. For the guy who shared my T-bar on the way up, well, it's another story. Just bring up the subject of skiing, and his eyes start to gleam with anticipation. Swoosh.

So there I was, pausing and teetering at the top of the slope, realizing that there was no other way down. (That's the thing with chair lifts - how humiliating would it be to take one down the hill?) So, out of a mixture of pride and self-determination, I started the descent. About ten minutes, three bruises, approximately a dozen falls and slips later, I was finally at the bottom wondering if the effort was worth it.

Fast-forward about 24 hours.

The sun in shining like there's no tomorrow, and I'm surrounded by the snow-capped peaks of Austria. Heck, I'm ON one of them. I'm cruising down a blue run, when I notice that the piste takes a steep torn ahead. I flashback to the day before, and push the image away. A beautiful phrase - "he makes my feet like hind's feet and sets me upon my high places" - settles over my mind like a fresh coat of snow, and I repeat it under my breath over and over as I practice my turns (left, swoosh, right, swoosh), and before I know it, I at the bottom with one of my favorite experiences of my whole life under my belt. God is good.

More soon...


Robbie said...

Felt as if I were there - without having to be there ;) Thank you for the vicarious experience!
Love you two,

Henry said...

I love this! Did the pines change their attitude over your time there? Thank you for this beautiful picture of God's glory.

Matt said...