Bob and I live in the Research Triangle Park in Durham. Just outside our door is a perfectly maintained two-mile trail upon which Bob runs, and I walk, and we both pray. The north side of the path has a few patches of ice. Sooo…still recovering from my broken wrist I approached those patches with great care. I opted to trudge through some snow rather than slip on the ice, and slipped on the snow instead. I landed on my knee – just seconds before a svelte runner passed me by. I’m sure I looked like Granny Moses (whoever she was). Rather than break my neck, I turned around, stayed on the dry trail and reminisced about aging by reflecting on my youth.
I started skiing at the age of nine. Every winter Saturday, for five straight years, my friend Rusty and I rode the train from Denver to Winter Park and learned to ski. As a nine year old, often left to myself for most of the day, I was scared and always hated the cold. I’d cry every.single.Friday those first few years. “Please don’t make me go!” My dad insisted. To ease the pain and feed my courage he decked me out with flashy skis and schnazzy skiwear, and within a short period of time I mastered the mountain.
Later, in high school I joined a group of kids on a seven day backpacking trip (hard for some of you to believe I know). My dad, determined to get me into shape, put me through a rigorous training regime. My final test: a three mile hike up Bell Canyon with a loaded pack on my back. Little did I know, dad had placed 50 pound weights inside. With all the intensity and vigor I could muster I completed his test, and survived the backpack trip just a little worse for wear.
My dad trained me to be courageous and taught me to persevere. Somehow, as painful as it was, he tapped into an innate determination that is alive and well in my soul today.
As I grow older the challenges in front of me are much different. Much of what I do today requires the same courage and perseverance as summiting the Uintahs or attacking the fall-line of a black diamond slope, but in such a different way. I was so confident about so many things not so long ago. I’d teach with conviction and live with purpose and pound my fist with assurance.
As a middle-aged woman…I’m not so sure anymore. I’ve realized God cannot be contained. The lines I once drew with boldness have blurred in the light of his Word, his grace, his truth, the gospel.
Although hesitant, I’m inclined to enter into the conversation about WOMEN in ministry.
Along with my City Team, I’m intentionally leaning into ethnic diversity – I have so much to learn.
I want to edge my way into a discussion about the being made in the Image of God and how today’s culture is slowly, methodically, and perhaps unwittingly devaluing humanity more and more every day. I’m not sure I’m equipped, but I want to dialogue.
I need courage, and maybe a new outfit.
I’m afraid I might slip, but I’m determined to take the risk.