Sometimes being happily complacent puts us in the most dangerous places.
When winter starts to grace the ground with it’s white blanket, I start to get a wild look in my eye and randomly find myself standing in front of windows searching the sky for flakes to begin floating down. I go out to the garage, organize and stare at ski and mountaineering gear. Reorganize and stare at it again. Just itching for the chance to get on top of a mountain just to slide back down on two sticks.
This winter the snow took its time coming. But when it did arrive, it came with a vengeance. And out into the winter wild I went. Climbing up. Sliding down. Climbing up. Sliding down. Up. Down. Up. Down. And getting lost in the beauty and grandeur is easy. Being swept up in the rush of flying downhill is unavoidable. And in all of this bliss, it is easy to forget that what I’m doing is inherently dangerous, and I was reminded of that recently in a startling way.
Having climbed one of the better local mountains for backcountry skiing earlier in the week, just after a fresh snowfall, I learned that there had been a major avalanche on the weekend that buried a skier who was skiing the same line that I had. While the skier lived, two skiers died in another avalanche not too far away. And while I always read the snow conditions reports and pay a lot of attention to the snowpack while I am out there, the idea that something you feel is so routine can also be lethal is a wake up.
And really, this is true for our spiritual lives as well. While we may feel that the routine is good, fun, and safe, that is not what we are called to do. If we grow complacent, our spirituality will die. We are called to never be complacent, satisfied and lukewarm, but rather always seeking and pushing ourselves further into the adventure of pursuing Jesus. The Bible says, “Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord” (Romans 12:11).