Back in 2003, we decided to take one of those once in a lifetime trips. This year, it was to be a winter trip to Canada to try out the slopes. You know the kind of holiday where you have to save every penny towards doing something special. It was likely to be the last trip that our son, Jon, then 15, would want to spend a holiday with us (that is until he has children of his own and needs to take baby-sitters with him!). We wanted it to be a special memory to treasure for years to come. So, bags packed, with plenty of warm clothing and thick socks (very important), off we went.
This was definitely a time to do some of those ‘bucket list’ activities that you’ve always dreamed of but never had the chance. For us, this was the thrill of re-enacting some of the scenes as 007 in the James Bond movies! We had booked to have lessons on a Ski-doo!
The day arrived and off we went to Paramount in our hired and upgraded, monster of a 4 x 4 but definitely necessary for the weather conditions. It was a 2 hour drive to get there and we were surrounded by beautiful scenery and empty roads. On every side there were snow covered trees with rivers and streams running with the most cool ice-blue water you could imagine.
On arrival, we were introduced to the instructor and taken to our Ski-doos. The lesson began and we started to get to grips with how to manoeuvre, to accelerate, to steer and to brake. Little did we know that once round the car park was considered sufficient training to make our way across a little narrow bridge and straight onto the mountain track! Feeling both scared and excited, we were on our way!
I’m not quite sure how to describe the next bit. The temperature ranged somewhere between -20 to -30°. All I remember was that it was bitterly cold! The kind of cold where your hands feel like they don’t belong and you daren’t sneeze in fear of it freezing! The instructor lulled us into a false sense of security by gently navigating the first few bends and part of the track. It was fairly wide and gentle. “We can do this”, I thought. Then the instructor decided it was time to speed up. After all, we had a time schedule to keep to if we were to get all the way up and back down again. After stopping half-way for a well needed and well-earned hot chocolate and cookie, we started to make our way up to the top. There were times when I was scared and thought I might not survive as the tracks began to get narrower and narrower. You don’t even want to know what the drops looked like and definitely no room for overtaking! At certain stages in the journey, we had to stop and go one at a time where there was potential for avalanche. In my mind, I had told myself to keep looking ahead and focus on the instructor. There was a point when we went up through the clouds. The view on reaching the top was breath-taking, awe-inspiring. It was something I would never have had the opportunity of experiencing had I not taken the risk.
This experience taught me a valuable life lesson in that sometimes we have to be prepared to step out and do something different. It taught me that sometimes the most beautiful things are hidden, and we need to take risks to find them. We need to keep our focus on the goal, trust that the journey will take us to places we have never even dreamed of or imagined. Ok, there might be some obstacles, some difficult terrain, but if we have something, someone, in whom we can put our trust, we can do it. My someone is God and with Him, there are no limits to what I can do, who I can be and where He will take me.
Jeremiah 33:3 – Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.