Last Wednesday my brother and I had our annual day at Mt Buller. Okay so I probably think too much, but here are some parallels a day in the snow has with life in general.

1. Start With A Plan

The famous slogan, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail” is just as true of life as it is of snow boarding. While our trip wasn’t a failure, we had moments of poor planning that led to harder work, less fun and reduced joy. One such event occurred when we decided to take a track that didn’t have an operational chair lift at the bottom. The result, 30 hard, sweaty minutes of hiking through the snow.

2. Share The Journey

Life is based on shared memories. An experience lived alone can be pleasurable but ultimately lacks greater enjoyment. It is when you share a moment, experience or time with someone that you can reflect, laugh, cry and attach deep meaning to it. The beautiful thing about Jesus is that he is a friend that sticks closer than a brother and we are able to share all of life with him.

3. Stretch Yourself With New Opportunities

The reality is that there are hundreds of ways to tackle something. When you are up a mountain with a board strapped to your feet you can take a green run (easy), a blue run (moderate) or a black (mad-snake difficult). To grow beyond your current ability you must place yourself in an environment that enables growth. Taking the same run repeatedly won’t lead to growth. Similarly, if you don’t stretch yourself or take risks that will challenge you, there is a good chance growth won’t occur. Make some mistakes and stretch yourself.

4. Be Aware Of What Is Outside Of You

If there is one thing you realise quickly at the snow, it is that the snow coverage is different from year to year and month to month. If you want to do yourself an injury or damage the snowboard, only focus on yourself. I know for me, I can get so obsessed with my feelings, my skills, my thinking and my achievements. I sometimes fail to recognise the season I’m in and the right timing to execute a plan. When you focus on what is going on outside of you it becomes easier to read situations, anticipate changes and navigate effectively through challenging situations. Take note of the people around you, the season you’re in and the factors that have contributed to your current situation.

5. We All Begin On Tracks That Have Been Done

If you are anything like me, you like adventure. I like finding that one track that no one has skied on. I enjoy pushing the boundaries to have new experiences. Regularly I find myself feeling like I’m just going through the motions and ask myself what am I doing here. However, I always need to remind myself that to get to tracks no one has found you must travel the ones that others have done. Were I go for encouragement is the fact that the Kingdom of God starts of small like a mustard seed and grows into a massive bush. Never despise small beginnings.

6. Life Involves Both Faith And Wisdom

This trip to the snow had very low visibility. At one stage we could only see one chair lift in front of us. When you are traveling down a steep run at 25km/h you need both faith and wisdom. Wisdom to predict which way the track turns and faith that there isn’t any harmful obstacles ahead. As humans we must make wise choices that would steer us from harm or to protect those around us. Additionally, wisdom alone isn’t enough as God ultimately determines the outcome of our steps. This truth is both comforting and challenging.

The snow trip was great. We had a great time. And I left reflecting more deeply about life.