Recently I returned from summer vacation in northern Minnesota. The north shore of Lake Superior is truly “Gods Country” and my family enjoyed the great lake, many of the rivers, cliff jumping, and other area attractions.
This year we felt our kids were old enough to take-in the Alpine Slide at Lutsen Mountains. This is a ski resort that passes-away the summer by offering an Alpine Slide and Gondola rides to mountain vistas.
The alpine slide – for those of you not sufficiently sled-privileged – is basically a cement chute that winds and curves and dives it’s way down the mountain. You ride this trough on a small plastic “sled” with a single control lever — you push it forward, you go faster — you pull it backward you slow down or even brake if you wish.
The kids’ all-day wristband was to allow access from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. But, of course, they would soon tire of it, and we would proceed back to camp. My two boys are older and immediately set-out to board the ski-lift to the top. My daughter being a bit younger needed a “companion” for the day. Daddy was elected.
So, I fastened my wristband, and forged forward into the Daddy and daughter day. First the lift ride to the top – at the top you selected your sled (two in my case) and carried them down a slope (Oh! My aching knees!) to the start of the chute.
As I was first attempting to fold my slim and svelte body into the tiny sled, it seemed very cramped. And, for this first ride down daughter wasn’t so sure, and wanted to ride with dad. Our turn came, and down the hill we went. What a ride! Daughter was sold!
Now – those of you my age and body type know — getting into such a contraption is one thing. Getting out is quite another. My folded body had somewhat acclimated to the contortion, and was reluctant to move – much less in a vertical direction.
Except for a short lunch break – this is what we spent the rest of the day doing;
- Lift-ride to the top
- Carry sled
- Compile self into sled
- Extract self from sled
- Return sled
- Board ski-lift
- REPEAT! — until 6:00pm!!
I came to quite enjoy the quiet, peaceful, and not nearly long enough lift ride to the top.
Many times throughout the day I asked myself why I was doing this. Daughter was so thrilled that she was invariable up, out and waiting upon my arrival at the bottom. Then – of course – dad just couldn’t move fast enough for her as she restrained her urge to run directly to the lift boarding area ahead of me.
I was doing it because I love her so. It was important to me that she had a delight-filled day. She was not to know of daddy’s difficulty. Nor, was her enjoyment to be abbreviated by it.
I observed as several other dads where similarly situated. I admired their devotion. The love that fathers have for their children — when properly realized — is extensive and deep.
So many kids today have inattentive dads, or no daddies at all.
We have a heavenly Father. His love is greater still!
He did much more than spend a day of uncomfortable and exhausting activity so that we might have moments of joy. He actually ….
– GAVE –
– HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON –
– to be SACRIFICED-TO-DEATH –
– so that you and I might be ETERNALLY REDEEMED!.
I can’t imagine.
What wondrous love!