Tonight I went to see the latest Warren Miller film. I didn’t know what it was about, but friends invited me, and it was at a theater near my home.
Turns out Warren Miller is a skiing and snowboarding filmmaker. Maybe if I skied or snowboarded I would have heard of him. But like most real Coloradans, I don’t ski. I guess we leave that to the tourists and the college students.
Well, this film was amazing. Like watching an IMAX, except not on an IMAX screen. Shot after shot of these people doing this amazing heli-skiing. Sometimes with the cameras on their helmets. Sometimes getting caught in avalanches. Always in the most gorgeous locations – places like New Zealand, Kashmir, Chile, Alaska, and British Colombia.
All my skiing friends had eyes wide and jaws dropped. And me as a non-skier had eyes wide and jaws dropped.
I went skiing last year on Christmas Eve. It’s the first time I’d been skiing since I was six years old. I fell down a lot. My legs were exhausted by lunchtime. But it was fun.
And I watched the film of these amazing professional skiers. I tried to think of how many hours and days and years they had under their belts in order to get this good. To be able to ski down nearly vertical faces, jump off cliffs, and emerge from it all alive.
And as I watched I realized that I have no chance of ever becoming one of them. I mean, not that I had aspirations of becoming a pro skier. Last Christmas Eve whenever I felt like I was going too fast down the mountain I would purposely fling myself down in the snow to stop. I don’t like being out of control, and have a fear of hurting myself by running into things that are more solid than I am. Like trees. Or ski lifts.
No, I realized I wouldn’t become a talented skier like them because I’m getting too old. Not saying that thirty is old – in fact I like being thirty – but your body just doesn’t bounce back the way it once did. And thirty may be too old to start something like that. Not impossible, just a bit more difficult.
And I was sad. And I started feeling regret that I didn’t start doing some things when I was younger and had more energy and my knees and back didn’t hurt quite as much and I didn’t need to be in bed by 10:00 each night to feel like a human being in the morning.
Wow, I thought. Is this the way it will be from now on? Realizing there are things I’m no longer able to do?
And then I remembered heaven. Remembered a place I haven’t even seen yet. Remembered a place where we are with God.
And I started to get excited. Really excited.
If there’s skiing in heaven, I won’t need to fear running into solid things. The legs of my new body won’t get tired. I’ll be able to see amazing places that my pocketbook will never get me to during this life. I’ll be able to do things in heaven I couldn’t do on this Earth anyway, even if I did still have the stamina of a twenty-year old.
We may get to climb grand mountains like Denali. Raft rivers like the Colorado through gorges like the Grand Canyon. Run free through mountain meadows of wildflowers like those on Elbert. Swim in waters of blue more vivid than those of the south Pacific. The things we’ll see and be able to do will make Warren Miller’s film look be like picking your nose.
And I’ll get to do it for all eternity in the presence of my my God, my King, my Savior.
That, my friends, is something to look forward to. 🙂