Growing up two hours south of the Pocono Mountains, a neighbor introduced me to skiing while in junior high school. One of the greatest obstacles I had to overcome was my fear of heights, some thing a chair lift ride to the top of Camelback Mountain only exasperated. Gradually, I learned to look down, seeing which trails to explore and those to avoid. Yet, as you exit chair lifts, you must keep your head up, fixed on what lurks ahead. This prevents novices from making a wrong turn or venturing down a trail your not qualified to ski.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who by faith have testified to the truth of God’s absolute faithfulness], stripping off every unnecessary weight and the sin which so easily and cleverly entangles us, let us run with endurance and active persistence the race that is set before us, Hebrews 12:1.
A freak skiing accident ruined Molly Bloom’s chances of qualifying for the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. This crash in her final run of Olympic qualifying for woman’s moguls, a combination of free style jumps and moguls, is depicted in the 2017 film Molly’s Game. After this vicious wipeout, there are a series of flashbacks from Molly’s childhood. One clip depicts Molly’s father played by Kevin Costner, pushing her to the limits as a teenager. Costner’s character stresses one crucial point about skiing,”If you look down, that’s where you will go.”
[Looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross,disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work], Hebrews 12:2.
This same concept applies to the spiritual realm. The moment you begin to look at the obstacles in your path, anxiety, fear and worry can consume human souls. Just as moguls, steep slopes and icy conditions affects how you ski, a lack of faith leads to poor decisions. Thus, the Bible urges believers to fix your eyes on Jesus. While everyone faces scary slopes in their future, God wants to be your trail guide, to navigate you through uncharted territories. May this blog inspire you to look ahead, trusting God so that the thought of falling won’t paralyze you with fear.
by Jay Mankus