Driving in the snow is always a risky situation. For my little southern self who saw snow for the first time three years ago driving in the snow is a knuckle whitening, sweaty palms, hyperventilating task. I looked up the hill noting the tire marks and telling myself that if I just drove in the previous cars tracks I would be fine and make it to the top. But the ascent is always harder than the descent. Its in the ascent that the car got stuck not having enough traction to make it the rest of the way up; its in the ascent that the car needed and extra push.
I think people have that idea (I know at least I did) that going downhill is easy. You won’t ever get stuck going downhill. But I learned quickly that going downhill is equally difficult. Going downhill sometimes means sliding down the entire hill and only stopping when something stops you at the bottom.
This is life sometimes. The descent always seems easy and looks fun. Sliding back down into a valley takes little effort until its too late. Thats the tough lesson I learned recently. It took me jumping on the sled of instant gratification, immediate pleasure, selfish plans and taking that sled all the way to the bottom before I realized I was going too fast to stop. My choices were spiraling out of my control and I slide faster and faster to disaster. Next thing I know the only way of stopping was a forced stop at the very bottom. Stopping in the place where the only choice was to look up at big hill ahead of me.
The hill ahead of me has icy patches where there is little traction, it is super steep in some parts, but the top is beautiful full of glistening pure white snow. The view for the top must be magnificent; seeing over everything else. So my only choice is to go up from here. To overcome the difficult patches and fight my way to the top.
Jesus is leading along this crazy journey of life. He is quite literally holding our hands along the way, but sometimes we let go. We get to the top of one peak, thank him for helping us get there, and then go along on our merry way. Then we slip, begin sliding faster, and come crashing to the bottom. We look up and the tough road ahead, grab his hand, and begin to climb all over again. The climb is hard and the descents are easy but the view after the climb is always worth it. Being on top hand in hand with God never grows old. The view is new, different, and exciting.
So friends, whether you are at the top of the hill soaking in the views, whether you are struggling up hill on a patch of ice, or whether you are sliding full speed towards disaster grab onto Jesus’ hand and let him help you.
Image from jovenseisaituamae.blogspot.com