My family just returned from a week long trip to Whistler. In one word, AMAZING. Before we left, asked the kids if they thought the people in Whistler actually whistled. Giggling they said, “No”, but I think there was a part of them that wondered. The anticipation was great; all of us could feel the excitement. I wasn’t sure what activities we’d pursue since it is known for being an extraordinary winter get-away and we happened to be going the hottest week of the summer. Nonetheless, we arrived at about three o’clock in the afternoon on a Sunday and the place was buzzing with activity. People on bikes and people on skateboards, runners, hikers, sight-seers, and swimmers; some young and some old but almost all of them were moving in one activity or another. It peeked an interest in me. Where are they going? What are they seeing? I didn’t want to miss out. We quickly picked up a pamphlet of “Must – Do’s” and combed it over and over again with our eyes. The plan was set.
Lake swimming and tre-trekking, alpine-sledding and trampoline jumping, running and swimming in the pool were just a few of the activities we enjoyed. We went to bed early every night and woke up refreshed and ready for our next adventure. It was surprisingly relaxing in spite of our constant activity. In the downtime we played card games or caught up on Olympic events we had missed. Our cell phones didn’t work so we weren’t able to check emails or facebook updates and that was okay with us. We loved “being and doing” as a family.
As we drove home we shared highlights of our trip and the kids pointed out that no, people in Whistler don’t actually whistle. I thought about that first day we pulled in and how I was instantly impacted by the beauty and buzz of the place. It was captivating. I was immediately influenced by the “doers” around me. I wanted to be in on the action. I wanted to see it all. I wanted to experience all that I could in the seven days we were there. I was surrounded by active people and I wanted to be active. I didn’t want to waste a second. I enjoy exercise very much and it was no surprise that in a beautiful place such as this I would want to be outside as much as possible. But there was more to it than that. Not only were active people all over the place, but they were active people that cared about their health. We tasted delicious whole foods and walked through the most amazing farmer’s market I have ever been to. It made me want to be healthy. I wanted to make healthy choices for myself and my family while I was there. I was influenced by what was around me.
Please don’t think I am idolizing this place called Whistler or the people there. I learned something; something I hope I never forget. I learned that I want to be a person of influence. Like that friend you have that loves Jesus more than herself or anything else? The one that when you walk away from being with her you want to be a better person? That is the kind of person/friend I want to be. Just as those active people in Whistler encouraged me physically, I want to be an active person that encourages people spiritually. When others come into my sphere, I want them to see it buzzing with activity not for myself, but for the King I serve. I want to have such a love for the beauty and wonder of His Kingdom that because of His influence on me, I influence others. Remembering that the active people also cared about what they put into their bodies is a crucial piece of the puzzle. Taxing your body physically is useless if you don’t feed it adequately. The same goes for a strong spiritual life. I need to care about what I put into my body. If I am not being fed Truth then I will tire, become weak and eventually give up. Truth is my fuel and Truth is what will keep me active and moving. It is the Truth that sets me free to really live.
My quiet times seem a bit different since I’ve returned from Whistler. As I spend time with the Lord, he shows me the “Must – Do’s” and the “Must – Sees” and I don’t want to miss out. My relationship with Him isn’t a chore or a guilt-laden list of “Have – To’s”. I want to BE where He is. I want to SEE where His is working and I want to DO what He has called me to do. It is less about a box to check off the list and more about being active in the King’s plan. Exploring the wonder and awe that a life with Him truly provides. It is in that place that I believe influence begins. When I care more about taking in all of Him and care less about all of me.
As I sign off I wonder … perhaps if people in Whistler actually whistled I may have been influenced enough to join right in!