For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and self-discipline.
This last weekend Amy and I took the WBC youth group to Snow Camp in the Adirondack mountains. On Saturday we had a humbling experience snowboarding. I had never done it before and was convinced that I would have fun all the way up to the point of hitting a tree. If that happened, then it would cease to be fun, instantly. A couple of the boys had experience and gave us tips at breakfast, but we knew that the real learning would take place on the mountain itself.
There is something humorous about a thirty-two year old man learning how to skateboard (my adventure last year) and snowboard. Flexibility is no longer an accurate description of my movements and neither is graceful for that matter. But, I want to learn new things and shuffleboard is not exactly on my radar yet. So, off we went crashing, sliding, and tumbling our way down the slope while five and six year olds went whizzing by at embarrassing speeds.
What struck me afterward-other than the pain of crashing-was a thought that translates to the rest of life. The best way to learn is by trying. Yes, classroom instruction and telephone advice are good, but nothing teaches like the slopes. What strikes me is how true this is in relationship to the life of a Christian--especially the ones who stand at the top of ministry hills and wonder if they have the proper knowledge of the Bible or the proper grasp of communication to talk to people about the faith. But, the truth is that you have to strap on and start going down at some point. And not surprisingly, that's when the real education begins.