TURNING TO: Something New

My boys are off skiing today with their school. It’s an annual field trip for the senior grades. They have never skied. My husband grew up near Quebec and skied a lot. We lived in a very flat area for most of their lives and it hasn’t been a priority since we moved. So they haven’t had a chance to hit the slopes.

One of them didn’t want to go because he was going to be a beginner and the rest of his friends are, according to him, seasoned skiers. He’s at that age where peers matter. A.Lot.

I explained that everyone is a beginner at some point. Listen to the instructor and by the end of the day, you’ll be skiing with your friends. I could feel him tuning me out.

This attitude frustrates me. The idea that we have to master something right now.  That you can’t be a beginner.  I know partly it’s how kids are wired.  (How many of us adults are still wired.)  This child of mine wanted to do figure 8’s the first time he put on skates.  He was like four or five.  He couldn’t understand why he couldn’t do a figure 8 much less keep his balance. Like so many of us, he struggles with being a novice.  Today at the ski hill, he is a beginner while his friends are “pros”.  He did not want to go.

Why do we do that? Why do we TURN AWAY from trying something new? From adventure? From new places and new people? Instead of TURNING TOWARDS them?

Honestly, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. How many times have I TURNED AWAY from new experiences or people because I was afraid? Afraid of what? What are we so afraid of? Of how we’d look. What people would think. That we might not do it right so don’t do it at all. That we would lose control. We don’t want to look like a beginners. Amateurs.

Because the world tells us those people are losers. No, we must be experts in everything we do. It’s that kind of attitude that makes us TURN AWAY from being an apprentice. The thing is being a pro in all things is boring. Experts can be arrogant. They are no fun to be around after a while.

TURNING TO a new thing or person, can cure that pretty fast. It takes humility and courage to ask for help. To admit you don’t understand or know how to do something. To receive the gift of advice, instruction or help. The learning curve of TURNING TO something new can be steep but so rich and fulfilling.

There’s also the other end of the spectrum of why we are so afraid. We TURN AWAY from new things because we just might be good at it. Sometimes success is scarier than failure.

Success can bring change. It might mean that we are suddenly ripped from the comfortable and thrust into the uncomfortable. Success means we become visible when we’d much rather be invisible. We might have to stop complaining about some things. It might make life harder in some areas. It may make it easier.

Either way, TURNING TO rather than AWAY from being a beginner or trying something new, it means change. Things are going to change for us. It might be highly significant or not at all. TURNING TO means moving forward. Forward means going up or down or straight. To go forward puts us in a place we haven’t been before. A new place.

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TURNING AWAY is retreat. I’m not saying that retreat is always bad. It may be necessary but for the most part I’d rather move forward or stay still until I can move forward, than retreat.

Another great thing about TURNING TO something new is that people love to help beginners. Don’t you find that? Don’t you love to be asked for help? It gives a sense of purpose to aid others. So when we TURN TO something new and a person can assist us, we all benefit.

Finally TURNING TO something new provides us with the opportunity to learn about ourselves. We find out what we like or don’t like. We learn our limitations or our potential. We discover what we can or can’t handle. We uncover more of who we are and who we can become. It might be painful. It might be exhilarating. Probably both.

We also learn about God. Can we count on him? Is He listening to us? What does He want us to learn from all this? We might discover His sense of humour or his artistry. We might see His majesty. We might TURN and see the love in His eyes as the song, Good Good Father, says. We might uncover a whole new side of His character that we would have missed out on if we had TURNED AWAY from this new thing.

What new thing, new encounter can you TURN TO today? I know at times we’d rather TURN AWAY but remember BRAVE? Let’s be brave and TURN TO the new things God wants to put into our lives and hearts today.  Our lives will be richer for it.

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