It was early spring of 1985, nearing the end of my first ski season as a Christian. As a member of Woodstock Singles Ski Club, I cherished getting away on our semi-monthly bus trips to Mammoth Mountain.
I was passionate about skiing and had become even more passionate about my new relationship with Jesus. One of the gifts I received not long after accepting Christ as my Savior and Lord was the ability to compose Christian poetry. Most of the poems were fairly short, but this time God gave me a fairly long poem about skiing that flowed like honey from my pen.
That next ski season, I was blessed with the opportunity to read the poem in front of 500 skiers at a “Learn to Ski and Race Camp” banquet at Mammoth Mountain. The poem was entitled “Upon Golden Skis.”
It’s the second longest poem I’ve written and it’s time to share it with a larger audience 35 years later. Due to its length, I must split it into two columns:
‘Upon Golden Skis’
It was a wistful kind of day as I recall,
The start of winter or the end of fall.
I am not certain, for it matters not the date,
For no one believes this tale of my fate.
Skiing the High Sierra was a passion of mine,
From dawn to sunset cutting trails through pine.
But this fateful morn what I sighted through the trees
Was a graceful, dashing, bearded lad — upon golden skis.
His attire was quite unique, white from head to toe,
No facial gear to protect him from the snow.
His technique — immaculate, skiing on a cloud
To ski alongside would truly make me proud.
Few dared trek my exhilarating path at all,
But this gent led the way, answering my call.
His movements beckoned with resounding certainty,
Challenging the heart of my ability.
Years and years of powder, searching from slope to slope.
This fellow was my match. There still was hope.
Halting for a moment and catching up at last,
Commenting, “Where’d ya’ learn to ski so fast?”
“My father taught me all I know.” was his reply.
Looking at me with a questioning eye.
“Do you dare stay with me?” rolled from his mouth.
Then quickly he shot off darting straight South.
I’m afraid we must stop with the 24th verse. Sixteen verses remain and you’ll just have to tune in next week for the somewhat dramatic conclusion of the poem.
I will tell you this: God is good and He reached out to me during a dismal time in my personal life in 1984. On the surface all looked fine. I had made the transition out of corporate life and stepped into an insurance career to my 40th birthday a year earlier. Inside, I was struggling and questioned just where I was headed.
Fortunately, I found hope and purpose in Christ. We’ll continue the poem and my story in my next column.
Passages to Ponder
— Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. He can be contacted at email@example.com for more information. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.