It was good for me to fail - John Harding

At the beginning of January as a sort of Christmas gift, I was able to go skiing in France with a  few guys from church. It was to be my first ever time skiing – having never done anything like that before; no skiing, no snowboarding, not even ice skating or skateboarding.

Being somewhat competitive by nature (the Lord is working on my character), and knowing Jack Mariner was to be skiing for the first time too, I decided to book myself in for a day of tuition at certain establishment in Manchester, mid December, to ahead of the curve.

The day for my training arrived and I headed off to the ski slope, a mix of excited and nervous. The day started off quite well. There were 6 of us in a group lesson, and I connected well with everyone in the hope there might be some gospel conversations throughout the day, which was scheduled to last between 10am and 6pm.

It pretty much went downhill from there, both figuratively and literally.

I was appalling. I couldn’t even do the basic moves. All the group were progressing higher and higher up the slope, whist I was kept at the bottom. Little kids were flying past me. Grannies were overtaking me. I was trying so hard, but just couldn’t get it. Every time one of my original group swooshed past they’d say, ‘keep going John, you can do it’ in an attempt to encourage me (but I just felt embarrassed and patronised).

Image result for discipleship square
The instructor was a superb skier. But I couldn’t take his expertise and translate it into action. If you’re familiar with the discipleship square (above), he was in D4, I was in D2 and he couldn’t quite get me into D3! 

At around 3pm, 3 hours before the session was due to finish and despite my best efforts, I threw in the towel. I went home utterly exhausted and with a massively bruised ego.

It was good for me.
It was good for me to fail.
It was good for me to get to the end of myself.
It was good for me to feel rubbish and then experience the father’s affirmation.
It was good for me to remember patience as I try and pass on my learning to others.

January arrived and we headed out to France. I had an amazing time away with an awesome bunch of guys discipling one another around the meal table, with loads of fun and fondue.

P.S. the Sloan's soon got me skiing and I ended up loving it!

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