Monday, October 1, 2007


I had a friend named Matt in high school. We were both in our school’s ski club and took regular trips to local ‘resorts’ in southern Wisconsin. One such trip was to the behemoth Mt. Olympia, which had been built upon a former landfill. I estimate that it took a total of 7.0 seconds to navigate their toughest run. On this particular day, an enthusiastic group of air catchers had built a disconcertingly steep jump at the bottom of the hill. Trouble is, anyone with foresight would have built it at mid-slope so jumpers could land at an angle and continue on their way without compressing their spines. However, Matt was convinced he could conquer this monstrosity unharmed, unlike the rest of us who lined up along the landing site to witness the carnage. Soon Matt was gathering speed toward the frosty mound. He caught air, caught a glimpse of the sky and executed the perfect landing – on his back. I can remember him gasping out a plea for someone to give him air. Of course, all of us stood there not knowing how to respond while he writhed in the snow. Once he regained composure his concern soon shifted to the obliterated condition of his brother’s ski goggles, and he was sure his brother was gonna kill him. He’s a pastor in Montana now, so I guess that God spared him for a higher purpose.

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