So I am not naturally athletic. I started to learn to ski at 16 and it took me about 20 years to get it. Ask Josh Kelsey, who as a 12 year old ended up skiing with me one day in Massachusetts . Every single time we got off the chair lift I crashed and I took him with me. He would be so patient, coaching me – “this time you are going to make it Pam” – yeah I never did.
The problem was we were skiing on ice. And the problem I had whenever I went skiing was that I skied in icy conditions. Ice is very unforgiving. You fall on it and it hurts.
A few years later I had the joy of going to the stunning, Crested Butte in Colorado with family and friends. Every morning it snowed. Every afternoon we skied on a foot of fresh powder. Powder is very forgiving, you fall into it and it doesn’t hurt.
Here is what happened to me – I finally got skiing. I am never going to be brilliant at skiing , however by the end of the week I was skiing from the top of the mountain with my brother and sister -in-law.
I got it, because I could make a mistake, fall over, and it didn’t hurt like hell !
The powder meant I didn’t worry about falling and so I wasn’t afraid to make mistakes, and so I got better. Instead of creeping down the hill terrified of falling I was free to have fun, and learn . (My brother shouting instructions from chair lifts above, like the voice God, me also helped !)
Recently I have made some mistakes. Sometimes I have encountered grace from people. It feels like falling into powder – I am still on the ground, but I fell into something soft that meant I have been able to get back up unscathed and carry on.
I have also encountered a lack of grace. It felt like crashing onto ice, not only was I embarrassed by my mistake, but it hurt and damaged my heart.
I have also been around people extending very little grace to others. It feels sharp and brittle.
Grace doesn’t say its OK that you keep falling down, but it creates the environment, that enables you to get back up, keep trying until you don’t fall as much.
We have all been forgiven much, so surely we need to be people who extend grace. Grace does not say ” keep messing up” . It says “we all mess up, let me help you up”.
One of my favourite Jesus moments is Jesus with the woman caught in adultery. He asked her where her accusers where after they had left and then he said to her – “Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more”.
She fell into powder that day – and it changed her life!
I want to be a person who creates powder for people – I know I am often ice – and I don’t like it. How about you ?
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