Summary: The second in the series on the Winter Games, looks at the areas in our Christian life that we are personally responsible for
Everything has been done, you’ve dreamed, you’ve sacrificed, you’ve trained. And now as you stand looking down at the slope below you, you realize that everything now depends on you. As you prepared for this day you had your coach, your trainer and your family supporting you and encouraging you. They were always there for you, but now, now it’s just you. Oh they’ll be watching along with the entire civilized world but from here to the finish line you know that you’re on your own and everything depends on you.
Alpine Skiing is one of the premier events of the winter Olympics and covers a wide variety of sub events as well Slalom, free style, Jumping but the one thing they all have in common, other then the skies is that they are all solo events. You don’t see four man skiing, or mixed doubles, at least not intentionally. And regardless of all the help and encouragement the skier may have had in getting to the Olympics when they start down they hill they are on their own. Our Christian life is like that, there are many areas that we need each other and help each other and we are going to look at those next week, but there are also things that we can only do for ourselves, we may have people cheering us on and encouraging us from the side lines but ultimately these things are up to us. Now before I start on those things, I made some interesting discoveries during my research for this message, one of those discoveries was a list of ways that skiers train and prepare for the ski season. If you are a skier I’m sure that you’ll be able to identify with these.
Skiing season training
15. Visit your local butcher and pay $30 to sit in the walk-in freezer for a half an hour. Afterwards, burn two $50 dollar bills to warm up.
14. Soak your gloves and store them in the freezer after every use.
13. Sit on the outside of a fourth-story window ledge with your skis on and your poles in your lap for at least 30 minutes.
12. If you wear glasses, begin wearing them with glue smeared on the lenses.
11. Throw away a hundred dollar bill-now.
10. Find the nearest ice rink and walk across the ice 20 times in your ski boots carrying two pairs of skis, accessory bag and poles. Pretend you are looking for your car. Sporadically drop things.
9. Place a small but angular pebble in your shoes, line them with crushed ice, and then tighten a C-clamp around your toes.
8. Buy a new pair of gloves and immediately throw one away.
7. Secure one of your ankles to a bed post and ask a friend to run into you at high speed.
6. Go to McDonald’s and insist on paying $8.50 for a hamburger. Be sure you are in the longest line.
5. Bind your legs together at the ankles, lie flat on the floor; and then, holding a banana in each hand, get to your feet.
4. Fill a blender with ice, hit the pulse button and let the spray blast your face. Leave the ice on your face until it melts. Let it drip into your clothes.
3. Dress up in as many clothes as you can and then proceed to take them off because you have to go to the bathroom.
2. Slam your thumb in a car door. Don’t go see a doctor.
1. Repeat all of the above every Saturday and Sunday until it’s time for the real thing!
Which might be why one person defined skiing in this way Skiing: the art of catching cold and going broke while rapidly heading nowhere at great personal risk.
When we talk about becoming a Christian we talk about having a Personal Relationship with Jesus Christ. Collins Dictionary defines Personal as: 1. Private; individual 2.done in person. And while there are a great many things about Christianity that involves the church and other Christians there are many of the essentials that are very personal. They involve two individuals: You and God. They can’t be done by someone else they have to be done by you and by you alone.
The first thing that we are each responsible for is 1) Our Salvation Very seldom do we come to know Christ without an introduction from somebody. Most of you know that it was my best friend Reg Thomas how introduced me to Christ. He wasn’t alone, my Grandmother Guptill prayed for her Grandchildren on a regular basis that we would come to know Jesus in the same way she did. Which probably accounts for the fact that when she passed away three years ago there 5 Grandsons who were ministers who performed her funeral. That’s a legacy. But as much as Reg and Gram wanted Denn to become a Christian they couldn’t do it for me. They could tell me about God’s salvation, they could demonstrate his love, they could pray for me and they could point me in the right direction, but they could not take that final step for me. The scripture that Ruth read this morning was from Paul’s letter to the believers in the Church in Philippi and Paul tells them 12 Dearest friends, you were always so careful to follow my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away you must be even more careful to put into action God’s saving work in your lives, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.