Although the descent down the hill lasted less than a minute, it could only be described as exhilarating! Sledding. Something I haven't done in more years than I care to remember. With cooler temperatures, some strategically placed snow machines, and twelve tubing lanes, the lawn at Stone Mountain (www.stonemountainpark.com) was magically transformed into Snow Mountain (www.SnowMountainPark.com).
A great day to make a memory as a family. This day happened to be extra-special as my Mom was able to join in on the fun. Arriving from Michigan earlier in the week, we convinced her to tackle the mountain of snow with us.
As we waited in line to enter the tubing area, we admired one another's snow gear: boots, hats, heavy coats and gloves. The brisk wind had convinced us that each of these items was a necessity. The clock read 7:00 p.m. when we entered the gates and were instructed to select a tube. We would be able to sled for two hours. With tube in hand, we stepped onto the conveyor belt that pulled us to the top of the hill. We stepped off of the belt and were ushered into a long line of people that snaked back and forth several times before heading up a ramp to the sledding area. Once in tubing territory, a friendly worker guided us to the next open lane.
Seated comfortably on the tube, having listened carefully to all of the instructions, the only thing that remained was the purposeful push that would send my tube speeding down the hill toward the finish line. With eager anticipation, I clung to the handles of my tube as I bounced and careened forward. I slid to a stop at the base of the hill, laughing out loud. I was transported back to my childhood, when my brother and I would spend hours sledding down the hill in our back yard until our fingers and toes couldn't take the cold a moment longer. We'd build ramps out of snow and have contests to see who could jump the farthest...Fun times! Back to the present.
As soon as everyone in our group had zipped down the hill, we took our places in line once again, dragging our ever faithful tubes behind us. Even though we ended up waiting in line about 20 minutes for every one run down the hill, I'd do it again in a heartbeat. It was a blast!
Life is a lot like the sledding experience. Most of our time may be spent just 'standing in line,' so to speak - doing those routine things that don't seem to amount to much. We're constantly looking ahead in anticipation of those things that will 'Wow' us: graduating from high school, getting that first big job, finding the right life partner, buying the first house, having children, and the list goes on.
As we stood in line waiting for our next opportunity to slide down the hill on our tubes, I realized that the entire experience was worth cherishing. Not only the exhilarating seconds flying down the hill, but also the time spent waiting in line. It was the time spent waiting in line that provided us with the opportunity to talk to one another and make precious memories that will last a lifetime.
Every moment we're given in life should be cherished as well. James, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, gave us excellent advice, "Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away" (James 4:14, KJV). While it's wise to plan for the future, don't forget to live in the now. View each moment as an opportunity to live for the Lord. Solomon penned the following words in the book of Ecclesiastes, "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest" (9:10).
With the beginning of a brand new year, I'm focused on making the most of the time the Lord allows me and cherishing each moment! How about you?