A CONGO RESCUE
This isn’t a story about being rescued from an African jungle but rather from a scary ski slope on Andesite Mountain in Big Sky, Montana. It was lightly snowing as my husband, daughter, son-in-law and their boys cruised down Ponderosa, my grandsons choosing to negotiate the short pines growing along the right perimeter of the slope. It had been the perfect ski day so far, just enough fresh snow to make the run fun but not so much that our thighs complained by the time we got to the bottom of the hill. We rode the quad lift to the top of the mountain and looked down at the village below. A potty break was needed by some so the decision to change directions and head down to the village was agreed upon by all.
We headed down a catwalk to where several appropriate runs could be found. My husband and daughter headed toward Hangman, an intermediate run. I heard my grandsons, 12 year old Soren and 10 year old Kai, calling from behind me, “Follow us, Pammy, (my grandma name.) We’ll show you a shortcut.”
Why not, I thought, so off I went following behind the boys. It didn’t take many seconds for me to realize I was headed down a mogul slope interspersed with tall pine trees. I never took “Skiing Moguls 101” when I learned to ski and as I began to pick my way down the hill I wondered if I was about to break a leg flying off a mogul or smash my head on a tree that refused to move out of the way. As I had these thoughts spinning in my head, one of the boys flew by me hollering, “Isn’t this fun!!” I was not feeling the fun.
I was exhausted by now and unsure of my ability to get down in one piece. Wanting to give up, I stopped and began taking off my skis, convinced that walking down the mountain was easier than falling down it. I took one ski off and heard a voice from below me calling, “Don’t take off your skis, Pammy. It won’t be easier that way! Put them on and follow me. You’re doing fine.”
Looking down hill I saw my son-in-law, Andy, waiting to rescue me from this crazy situation. He patiently waited as I took what seemed to be at least ten minutes to get my ski back on. That’s a real task on a snowy, steep bank full of moguls.
“Just follow me. We’ll go this way and take a wide turn here and then there and get down to that groomed area,” Andy said. He moved slowly enough for me to follow his path until I reached the comfort of the groomed trail. A huge feeling of relief came over me. At that moment Andy was my favorite son-in-law!
This is how my life goes from time to time, I’m too anxious to stop and ask for help from someone wiser then myself. We have laughed about the Congo rescue. “Put your skis back on, Pammy,” has become a catch phrase in the family to mean “don’t give up!”
Life is full of “Congo Rescue” moments. I am reminded of Psalm 46:1, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” My dilemma on the ski hill is a trivial example of need, but, in trivial or serious life experiences God is our strength and help if we are listening for Him just as Andy was there to advise and direct me in my time of trouble. We need not give up with God on our side, we need only to listen for Him on our daily walk in life.