I've always wanted to learn to ski. However! My family never went when I was younger (despite living a majority of my life near pretty excellent ski resorts) and I never wanted to learn by myself. I often put off skiing until something else would happen, like - I'd be able to learn with a friend, or maybe even a husband, or take my own family to go skiing, etc.
This winter - I decided I'd had enough of putting it off, and I signed up for ski lessons. I borrowed some stuff from friends. I put on the coats I had that might work? (I was looking reeeeeaally boot leg) and headed off to the mountain! Most of the people in the class were there with friends or family members... and then there was me. A few different instructors began gathering up students that morning. The oldest one there had a tag on the front of his helmet that said "Bear" and I decided he was the instructor for me. We got outside and while everyone else was walking around on one ski and learning "pizza", Bear told us a few basics and then had us start going down the hill. To be clear, we had NO idea what we were doing. As we started down the hill, one-by-one, he'd start shouting out instructions of how to stand or what to fix. He was teaching us in the midst of us actually DOING what we had come to learn, how to ski. At the end of a couple hours, I was going down green runs, making turns, and successfully not killing myself (which I am told is quite a feat). I attribute this to my teacher and the way he taught us - which was so radically different than everyone else who at the end of two hours were still quite literally walking around in circles with one ski on and one ski off.
Where is my point and gospel tie-in you may be wondering? Here it comes :) I have been thinking a lot since that experience and also with many of the things going on in my life right now that what God asks of us is to TRY. We need to try. And not half-heartedly, or just say we will do it one day, but strap on the skis, start going down the hill and REALLY commit to trying. I do not think God can teach us as quickly or as effectively if we've resigned ourselves to the sidelines and are more concerned with hypotheticals than what is actually happening in our lives.
I am now the number one cheerleader for trying. Try for a promotion at work. Try to get into a program or school. Try to be in a relationship and TRY TO LOVE OTHER PEOPLE :)
We have so much to gain from trying, and not a whole lot to lose. That uncomfortable edge of not really knowing what you are doing and still giving it a shot is a place we should take up residence. Admittedly, I almost didn't get out of my car at the ski resort. I sat in the car thinking of what a stupid situation I'd just gotten myself into. I almost didn't move once I got to the top of the ski lift and saw that the mountain suddenly seemed so much steeper than I thought it was (like could I somehow butt-slide down it? is that an option or even what it's called?). I hated doing it by myself and wished I had someone there with me. But! I didn't :) So! I got out of my car. I started down the hill. I fell a few times, but didn't seriously injure myself or others AND happened to learn a lot along the way.
Ultimately - I don't know that I absolutely loved skiing. It was still pretty terrifying to me thinking of going down a mountain with pieces of plastic strapped to my feet. But! I loved the learning and sense of accomplishment I felt afterward.
I want all of you to be encouraged to try! President Uchtdorf said that we live so far below our privilege, and I think that can mostly be attributed to being scared to give anything our full efforts for fear of failure. When we act in fear, we cannot be simultaneously acting in faith.
At this moment - if there is anything I could SCREAM back at the Sara of ten or 15 years ago, it would be to just try. TRY. And more often than not, things will work out better than you could have ever imagined.
Finally - I can't get this primary song out of my head - so I'll leave you with that :)
Jesus once was a little child,
Love you all too much!
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