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A little about me…

February 14, 2011

Over the last few weeks i have realized two things:

1) I am really good at not letting people know too much about me if i don’t want them to know.

2) I can be a really safe person, even when it seems like i am adventurous.

Today, i will attempt to address both of these issues by relating some of the events that have happened in the last few weeks.

For those who don’t know, i have an adventurous side in me that comes out if i find something i really enjoy. When i was still in school, i proceeded to hack an almost dead tree in my parents backyard apart with an axe. I climbed it methodically, sure to place my feet in just the right place so i wouldn’t fall, while at the same time being able to remove the limb effectively while not damaging anything.

After school i started working right away, and the responsibility of needing to pay for things created in my mind the need to constantly be “safe”. I was so cautious. If i broke an arm or leg, i couldn’t work, and therefore couldn’t pay for things like my car, or eventually my house.

However, being “safe”, and being adventurous, at least in my mind, are two different things. In 2001 i started skydiving a little bit. By the end of that season though, i had found that i enjoyed rock-climbing more than skydiving. Some of my friends and myself have been on a few trips to warmer locales in order to take advantage of some prime rock-climbing spots (for the record, the best place i have been so far is about 5-10 minutes west of Las Vegas, in Red Rocks. The beauty of the rocks, coupled with the intensity of the climbs is second to none. If you ever find your way to Las Vegas, do yourself the favor of visiting this place.)

Anyway, aside from these, and a few smaller things, my mind tries to convince me that being “safe” is good. I’m not talking about being a moron and going out trying to kill myself, but two weeks ago, i decided i had enough with “safe”.

As a youth pastor, there are things that i have the pleasure of organizing and being involved with that many people would not. As such, i took my senior youth group (grades 10-12) tobogganing two weeks ago. You will say, “Yeah but J, we can all go tobogganing.”

True.

But while we can all go tobogganing, we can all still be “safe”. Back to the story. We went tobogganing and i decided i wasn’t going to play “safe” anymore. One of the people brought a GT Snowracer along and we took turns going over a few smaller jumps and cliffs that gave us a bit of air. At that point i decided to hit the big jump at the bottom of the hill. A few from our group had already gone over it with crazy-carpets, but they had slowed down prior to hitting it, and most hit it indirectly, glancing off the side.

With a GT Snowracer, the driver is in control. Hitting a jump head on is as easy as steering right into it. Being that this jump was right at the bottom of the hill, speed was completely built up by the time one hits it. Well, instead of chickening out, i aimed right for it. I had already resolved that the landing could go horribly wrong, and i was prepared for that. When i hit the jump, i immediately understood how wrong the landing would be. Standing upright, with the GT Snowracer immediately in front of me, i knew i was in trouble. I tossed the sled so i wouldn’t land on top of it, and, while this was all happening i had time to reflect in my mind, “Wow, this is crazy. Why have i not landed yet? Did i hit the jump that hard? I wish i would land alrea….”

BAM!

My feet hit first and like an accordian being collapsed, my body crumpled to the snow. I landed almost entirely on the left side of my body. My arm bent in ways that arms should not bend, and i crushed my knee and shin. In total pain, i lay there, excited and exhilerated because i had not played “safe”.

Fast forward to this past weekend, and the youth retreat i took the youth on. Pembina Valley Bible Camp is a great place to revel in just how good God is. It also has a perfect hill to toboggan on. In fact, our group has nicknamed the hill, “The Death Hill.” This name came about for two reasons: 1) It is unforgiving when you toboggan down it, especially when piled onto a tube, 2) It takes an extra-ordinary amount of strength to climb back up the hill once down.

As i said earlier, playing “safe” is not what i want to do anymore, so i after a few solo runs down the hill on “death disks” and sleds, myself and another leader laid down on a tube, and allowed six of the youth to pile on top of us. This creates the fastest possible aerodynamic way to get down the hill. While excruciatingly painful for those on the bottom, the ride is absolutely thrilling.

After a weekend away with the group, i have trouble moving my upper body, and i can hardly use my one arm, but we had such a great weekend. We got to experience God in a different setting, talking about the Trinity, and the different aspects of God that make up the Trinity. We got to experience God in the nature that he created. We got to experience God as he deepened our relationships with each other. And we got to experience pain as we went down “Death Hill” again and again. Enjoy the videos. I know we had fun making them…



 

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