SLOG chapter ii | After a day of snowboarding, we retreated to our lovely lodge and mused about confronting our false selves. Of putting yourself out there knowing you may, could, will fall. Fall down seven times, get up eight. What’s the big deal about falling or failing, really? I quote one of my favourite film lines in Elizabethtown:
“So you failed. Alright you really failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You think I care about that? I do understand. You wanna be really great? Then have the courage to fail big and stick around.”
Last week – after procrastinating for a year – I finally took my first snowboarding lesson (and it came with bruises not sold separately). I discovered at PyeongChang 2018 it’s definitely my alter-ego winter sport that the tropical girl in me never knew existed. And working for the Olympics definitely gave me the needed impetus to quiet my fears to pick it up. Yet truth be told, I was close to bailing out the night before after reading about all the possible nasty injuries folks sustain on their first time shredding. Not exaggerating but I went to bed with a plea for divine intervention.
The next morning, with an entire butterfly kingdom in my stomach, the husband dropped me off at the Breckenridge snowboarding school. I had signed up for a group lesson since that was a fifth of the price of the exorbitantly-priced private lessons fit for the royalties. Although in the secret chambers of my heart, I’d really have loved to be able to have that unequivocal attention on my first day learning to ride at my own pace rather than having to deal with the often self-inflicted pressures of keeping up with the group. (Cues memory of my first ski lesson, I was not impressed.)
“Oh, looks like it’s just you today!” The instructor said.
“Does that mean it’s a quasi-private lesson?!” I blurted with wide-opened eyes like a kid loves her candy.
He grinned. And there’s my divine intervention wrapped up in a pretty bow. I had such a good time learning how to ride – and I felt just like a royalty. It brought me back to the memories of my twenties traveling solo across the world – the many divine interventions I needed of chasing planes and buses, of getting lost and found, of the first class upgrades and free plane rides, of the uncountable adventures on the road with the King as my travel companion was some of the sweetest memories of my faith journey. It has taught me to keep dreaming big royal dreams.
When tasting miracles and impossibles are the everyday posture you live by, you wouldn’t want to settle for anything less. Back to snowboarding, I realised it has been quite a long while since I’ve put myself out there to attempt something that’d scare the hell out of me. Like literally. It’s true that you become increasingly risk averse with age – mentally and physically – things that you would dive in in a heartbeat in your youth, they are somehow met with far more deliberation as we grow older. Though I’d say also it’s being less willing to live outside of our comfort zones.
I suppose if the posture of one’s life is always one of putting yourself out there trusting that He is there to catch you should you fall – and you will – because what is life without “catching an edge” and the picking yourself up time and again (proverbs 24:16) that grows the inner person in you? To develop all that is real. In snowboarding, you learn how to ‘fall safely’ to avoid the nastiest injuries, so that you can promptly pick yourself up to try again and actually develop some real snowboarding skills. Even then, to go into my quasi-private first lesson knowing He’s got me?
It’s a sweet assurance almost. That He delights in coming through for us especially when our fears overwhelm us. And to crown us with the small big personal desires that your heart and soul would know there is nothing He cannot do. I love how this becomes the confidence which grounds us while also launching us to scale higher and scarier dreams etched in us. And when your confidence is neither built on the mere praises of men nor earned by the might of your own striving – but rather, a deep, true knowing – nobody can ever take that away from you. Stay real.