In January 1976 my family joined about 30 people from several different churches for a ski trip to Switzerland.  The purpose of the trip was to meet with other Christians about how they worship and serve others.  There were several notable leaders who would speak.  We met at a ski resort in the Swiss Alps called Thyon 2000.   The 2000 part of the resort’s name was the elevation in the Swiss Alps; it was 2000 meters above sea level.  I was 17 years old at the time and was still young in my Christian walk.  The previous summer I spent traveling with a missionary through Mexico on the way to the Guatemalan border in Chiapas where I began my life of living by Faith.  At that time, I was unaware of the danger I was in being the only blonde-haired light skinned American in that part of the country.  I later found out how God protected me.  A civil war was brewing at that time between the Sandistas and Contras.  The people I was with got word that a Sandista patrol had spotted me and were looking for me.  They hid me at a ranch for the last part of the time we were there.  I did not know why they kept me at the ranch until several years later.  Finding that out really humbled me and strengthened my walk with Christ.  I was naïve in many ways but had a heart for learning about Christian Faith.

Back to the ski trip in 1976; On the plane ride over the Atlantic Ocean, we got to know the people we were traveling with.  One guy who seemed to know a lot about snow skiing was organizing ski runs around the vast expanse of Thyon.  My brothers and I, who have been snow skiing for many years, sat back and watched with reservation as this guy was setting up the schedule of what and where to ski.  He seemed to know ‘too much’ and was an authority about all things snow skiing.  My brothers and I wanted to enjoy the ski trip and take each day as they happen, not be on a schedule. 

When we landed in Geneva, I noticed that some of the people new to skiing was following this guy around.  I also noticed that others were apprehensive about what this guy was saying and like my brothers and I, kept their distance.  The bus ride through the Rhone River Valley then climbing up into the alps was picturesque.  If I correctly recall, the bus ride was about 4 hours with the last 2 hours climbing the steep Alps. 

We arrived at Thyon 2000 the afternoon of our second day of travel.  Most of us were tired and hungry and others were itching to strap on a pair of skis to start exploring.  We all waited until the next morning to ski so we met for dinner and had a relaxing evening. 

The next morning started off meeting with everyone in our group and one of the church leaders led with a short message and prayer.  That was the first time I attended a ‘church’ session dressed in ski gear.  I was ready to hit the slopes as soon as we could.  I noticed something interesting as we lined up to rent skis, my brothers and I had ‘seasoned’ ski gear.  I think what I wore was several years old, I had not outgrown them yet.  Others had new and the latest gear and this was their first time to ski.  We watched the guy who presented himself as an authority in all things snow skiing with interest.  He had all new gear.  When we were outside, my brothers and I clipped on our skis and were ready to head over to the ski lift.  We noticed that the guy, the ‘all knowing of everything snow ski’, could hardly stand up in the snow with the skis on.  It was apparent that he had never been on snow skis before.  The group of people who sort of followed him around had a look of shock – they were expecting a seasoned snow skier to teach them the art of snow skiing. The rest of us took off to the lifts to have fun skiing the Alps.

Later that day I stopped in for a hot chocolate in the lodge, I saw that guy sitting by himself.  I felt sorrow for him.  When the time came to prove himself, he couldn’t because he had never done this before.  I sat across the lodge watching that guy and thought that you must be careful who you put your trust in just because they are a good speaker and have leadership qualities, they may not have the first idea of what they are talking about. 

I think about that from time to time.  I am not a natural leader, so I have no idea what motivates people who are leaders. I strive to excel at what I do instead of ‘climb the peer ladder’.  When I do excel at something, I try give the glory to God.  He is who gave me my talents and He can quickly take them away.