That sinking feeling

December 27, 2007 | 3 comments

My son and I went snowmobiling today, but it was not a good day to go out.

It had been snowing about an inch an hour for some time where we went to sled in the Blue Mountains. The snow cover was very soft for several feet in some places, which was ideal for getting a snowmobile stuck big time!

We carefully wove our way up a trail to the top of Balloon Tree Ridge, but the conditions were so bad with the wind, cold and snowfall, I decided it was not safe to be up there. I drove off the trail at one point into a huge clearing in order to make a wide circle and head back down the mountain.

I could not see very well, and when I was way out in the clearing on the top of a mountain that was miles from home base my snowmobile started sinking into fluff that would not end. My sled slowed and slowed, spinning faster and faster but covering less and less ground. It was that dreaded sinking feeling no snowmobile driver wants to feel!

Images of being miserably stranded flashed through my mind.

In my habit of praying in times like this, I threw a quick prayer out to God for help.

I got back the message, “Do not give up. Do not slow down. Do not stop!” I was sinking so fast, it was tempting to concede failure, let go of the throttle, and quit. The sensation of hopelessness was sweeping over me faster than the wind that howled around me.

If I would have let go of the throttle even a bit, I would have gone down like a lead anchor. But I gave it more gas as I was told, and kept pushing forward.

I visualized a hand of God sweeping out of the sky, positioning itself under the rear of my sled and bumping me out of trouble. As I warmed over with trust in divine Love’s ever-protecting care, I gained confidence I would get out. The track caught solid snow and jetted me to freedom.

I thanked God all the way back home.

The spiritual lesson I took down the mountain was the need to not lose confidence when confidence is most needed. And I don’t mean mere human confidence, but spiritual confidence in God’s ever-present care.

I thought about Peter walking on the water.

He at first succeeded in taking several steps when he knew he could do it. But as soon as he looked around at the tempestuous circumstances and the supposed impossibility of what he was doing, he “let go of the throttle.” He “let up on the gas,” lost his confidence and sunk.

I wanted to learn from my experience and not “let up on the gas” like Peter did when I’m supposed to keep moving ahead.

If we lose faith in any circumstance, sink and get stuck, there is still a way out and God provides the aid needed. But it’s a lot easier to keep on going and skip the getting stuck part in the first place! I decided.

I’m looking at other areas in my life now where I need to keep my “thumb on the throttle” and not let up.

One example I thought of is, if I come into contact with people who have a reputation for getting upset, angry and making life difficult for others. If I were to think, “Oh, here we go again,” and expect trouble and hate to take over, I would be preparing my thought to sink into darkness. I would be “letting up on the throttle” of blasting full speed ahead with a trust in the omnipotence of Love to govern.

I’m looking for other instances too. You may have some to share.

Christian Science has taught me to not fear hatred and evil, and also to have confidence in the omnipresence of Love and the omnipotence of God. The more faith I have in God’s infinite goodness, the more confident I am in experiencing that goodness wherever I am, I’ve discovered. Trust and confidence in God enables me to keep my “thumb on the throttle,” and not “let up on the gas,” until I’ve made it to safe ground.

The hand of God is always underneath, around and above to rescue us from difficulty, lift us out of “sinking scenarios” and keep us free. And knowing this truth can help prevent that “sinking feeling” in the first place.

3 thoughts on “That sinking feeling”

  1. love this story and the analogy drawn. It applies, to me, to when it feels like your prayer is bogged down and you’re feeling overwhelmed by the circumstances and are tempted to give up your prayer because the ‘odds’ seem against you. Thats the very time to hit the throttle harder and stay the course! I especially like the thought of God’s hand lifting you up and propelling you forward! Thanks, as always Evan for the wonderful blog – there is always something to be learned and pondered from your experiences. thanks again and happy snowmobiling!

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