11/7/05

Encouragement for Today

 

“Trick Skis”

Sharon Jaynes, Vice President of Proverbs 31 Radio, Author, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member

 

Key Verse: 

Psalm 119:35, Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.“(NIV)

 

Devotion:

I am not, and never have been, a very athletic person.  I think that I have "ball-phobia".  If it's round and moves, I can't hit it or catch it.  My husband, on the other had, is Mr. Athlete.  He played all sports in high school, and even had a partial baseball scholarship to Clemson University. 

 

The one thing I can do athletically, besides walk, is snow ski.  For some reason, that just came naturally to me, probably because there is no ball involved.  When Steve and I started dating, I offered to teach him how to snow ski.  He was aware of my athletic capabilities, or lack there of, and decided that if I could do it, it would be a breeze for him.

 

We went to Sugar Mountain, NC, for his first lesson.  Steve rented skis, boots, and poles.  Having never skied before, he wasn't sure how the boots were supposed to feel.  It wasn't until two weeks later, when he still did not have feeling in his left foot, that he realized his boots had probably been a little too tight! 

 

The key things to learn when you first hit the slopes are: how to slow down, how to stop, and how to get up once you fall.  The rest is easy.  The first thing Steve learned was how to get up, because the first thing he did was fall.

           

To slow down, I taught Steve to turn his skis sideways, to weave back and forth across the mountain, instead of going straight down.  He would go straight for a while, and then when his speed picked up, he would turn his skis sideways to slow down.  The only problem was, he had a tendency to turn too far to the side and end up with the skis pointing up the mountain, which meant he would be going down the mountain, backwards, when he started moving again.  This was not good!

           

Finally, he figured out a plan.  He explained, "When I try to turn, if I turn too much, I could just continue turning 360 degrees, making a complete circle.  That will still slow me down and I won't end up going downhill backwards."  It was a sight to behold, but it worked.

           

Near the end of the day, a lady who was very impressed with Steve's acrobatics, complimented him on his trick skiing.  She raved, "Your circles are beautiful!  Can you please teach me how to do them."

             

He obliged, of course, and performed a few circles for his admiring fan.  She thought he was an expert skier and did not realize that he was just going in circles to survive.

           

Isn't that the way it is sometimes?  We may look at others and think that they have it all together.   We may want to be like them, perform like them, be organized like them, or have well-behaved children like them.  But the truth is, they are probably going in circles, just like we are, doing whatever it takes not to go downhill backwards.

           

But as children of God, we don’t have to go in circles trying to keep up with the spiritual Joneses.  We simply need to rely on His power, rest in His strength, and keep our eyes on His Word. Wise David once said, “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”  The good news is that the Lord’s path is not circular or downhill, but level and straight.

                                             

 

My Prayer for Today:

Dear Lord, I am so glad that I don’t have to be anyone today except who You want me to be.  Help me to avoid comparing myself to other women who “seem to have it all together.”  Help me live my life for an audience of One – You!  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Application Steps:

Before you begin your day, ask God what He would like for you to accomplish.

 

Right down your goals for the day, and don’t be distracted by what others are doing around you.

 

If you find yourself going in circles, stop, take a deep breath, and pray.  Then proceed with clarity.

 

Reflection Points:

Is there someone to whom you tend to compare yourself?

 

If so, why do you compare yourself to her?

 

What do you think God would say to you about comparing yourself to someone else rather than being exactly who He has called you to be?

 

Power Verses:

Psalm 119:35, Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.” (NIV)

 

Psalm 119:133, “Direct my footsteps according to your word …” (NIV)

 

Jeremiah 10:23, “I know, O LORD, that a man's life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.” (NIV)

 

Additional Resources:

The Ultimate Makeover, by Sharon Jaynes

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_ultimateMakeover.htm

 

Traveling Together, by Karla Worley

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_travelingTogether.htm

 

Getting Along with Almost Anybody, by Florence and Marita Littauer

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_gettingAlong.htm