The sun was shining so brightly in the clear blue sky. The gentle wind blew across my face. I breathed in the fresh air. Ahh!
Now before pictures of summery days on sandy beaches or spring mornings in a lush green meadow start forming in your mind, let me add that the air temperature at the moment was 11o and the gentle breeze was 20mph with gusts of at least 40mph. That paints a different picture, doesn’t it?
It was our second day on the ski slopes in Colorado. And it was COLD! And I should have been miserable. I am the gal who lives in wool socks and fleece jackets all winter. I leave my coat on when I come inside. I have been known to take more than one hot shower in a day because that is the only time I am warm.
But here I was having fun in the snow and the cold and the wind chill. About half way through the morning I thought, “What am I doing! I don’t like being cold. But I am having a blast! What gives?”
I spent a few moments contemplating the situation as we rode up the lift for another run down the mountain and two words came to mind: Perspective and Preparation.
I did not see this day as a miserable day outside in the cold. I saw it as a day of fun with my husband, daughter and son-in-law. I viewed it as a great day of skiing with adequate snow and no lift lines. I was enjoying the fact that this middle age body could still manage the slopes. I understood that skiing is done in the cold months of winter. I expected to be chilly.
If I had been back home in the flatlands on such a day I may have seen it as a day that was too cold to venture out to the mailbox. I would have bundled up in my fleece and wool and hunkered down inside, shielding myself from the frigidness. I would have fought the urge to grumble about the temperature. I would have longed for the coming of spring.
But here in Colorful Colorado I was rejoicing in the snow and the chill. The context was different. My focus was on all the reasons to rejoice and as a result the cold didn’t seem so terrible and I didn’t mind it so much.
What if I had the same mind set in the uncomfortable situations of life back home? What if I looked for the good; set my mind on the things above more? What if altered my expectations?
Then I thought on the second word, Preparation.
I considered the way I was dressed for the day in the cold. I was wearing a ski helmet that not only shielded my head from hitting something hard but also kept my ears and head warm. The ski goggles protected my eyes from the glare of the sun. The fleece neck gater covered my neck and chin and mouth and cheeks and nose. (Get the picture? Nothing was exposed to the elements.) I wore a layer of cold weather gear under my insulated snow pants and jacket. My hands were toasty in the waterproof mittens with hand warmer inserts. My wool socks kept my toes from becoming icicles.
Back home I may have dressed in wool socks and fleece but I would have left the house with a bare head, stylish knit gloves and no extra layers to keep me warm. I wouldn’t have prepared the same and I would have felt the cold more.
I saw the life lesson that God was revealing through my day in the cold and snow.
"Mary, If you would develop the correct perspective by setting your eyes on My blessings and goodness each day and prepare yourself appropriately by dressing up in My armor each morning you would experience the joy of each day in a deeper way."
Romans 8:6 (NASB)
For the mind set on the flesh is death, but
the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.
Ephesians 6:13 (NASB)
Therefore, take up the full armor of God,
so that you will be able to resist in the evil
day, and having done everything, to stand firm.
I was so thankful for God showing up in the midst of a snowy vacation day. It is just like Him to make an object lesson out of life situations. I am so thankful that He speaks so clearly.
And if you see me out and about wearing a helmet and goggles and neck gater and layers of clothing on a below zero wind chill day, you will understand, right?