Today my husband, my girls and I spent the afternoon sledding. On snow.
I grew up near the beach in Florida. I live in Austin, Texas. I don't sled on snow.
But I did today. On a real hill, at a park in a neighborhood. No one sold us tickets or official snow tubes. We simply loaded up the car with sleds from our aunt's garage and hauled them out to Gunther's Hill where we dropped them onto the ground, sat down on the cold, brightly-colored plastic, scooted to the edge of the hill and pushed ourselves off.
London first. Eve last (and escorted by a parent). Everyone delighted.
For about four solid seconds sledding is glee, slightly scary, but otherwise fun and free. The wind blows through your hair. The snow kicks up in your face. Your stomach flutters. Then you get to the bottom, topple out and onto the snow, laughing. You watch your friends or kids tumble down, feet dragging, sleds spinning. More laughing. Eventually you get up, grab your sled and climb back up the hill.
Climbing the hill isn't glee. It's tough and tiring. You have to drag your sled, maybe your kid's sled, too. Your breathing gets heavy and your thighs get tired--especially after the tenth trek up. If sledding were just hill-climbing nobody would do it.
But it's not; we call it sledding and not hill-climbing. Because the sledding is so fun and exhilarating we forget about the uphill hike.
Today's post is short and simple. I only want to point out that life, especially kingdom life, is a lot like sledding--full of excitement enabled by hard work. It's not all speeding downhill. And it's not all climbing. It's both.
If you're in a climbing season, know it won't last forever. Know too, your hard work is sowing seeds of joy. Embrace the exhaustion. You're doing good work.
If you're in a sledding season, reaping the rewards of your God-fueled efforts, be present and enjoy the moment. Inhabit it. Grab it by the feet, turn it upside down and shake it until you've gotten every bit of joy, delight, satisfaction and fulfillment you can get. Don't think about the climbing. The climbing will come soon enough.
Here's to the sledding life! May our God strengthen you for the climb and may you be delighted by the ride.