For some people in Oregon, the devil has struck the Cascade Mountains yet again. I’m not talking about someone being tempted into shattering their principles up in the seclusion of NW’s mountains. This evil has to do with the threat of no snow falling on the mountainous regions of Oregon when ski resorts depend on it for their own welfare. When many are already out of work and getting temp jobs at these skiing resorts, not having snow before Thanksgiving means no paycheck. And it incites panic by the time early December rolls around and there still isn’t even a trickle of snow dotting the ground. Fortunately, this doesn’t happen often, but it’s happening in some western states at the time of this writing.
No matter if you think it’s global warming or just global cooling on a brief vacation, those of you who’ve never seen snow or care a living hoot about skiing should know how important snow has become to the national economy. Ski resorts are arguably becoming one of the most popular places to go in obtaining temp jobs and if you don’t mind working around winter weather. When business dries up, however, all ski resorts can do is tap into one effective tool they’re planning on using yet again this year: Praying parties.
You’ve probably never seen the words praying and party next to one another often, if ever. In the world of skiing, it’s the new and effective procedure many ski resorts are starting to utilize in order to get the sky to open and provide snow. It’s also a fresh and new perspective on the concept of praying that shouldn’t be foreign to people. While perhaps overly conservative individuals might find something wrong with having a praying party, the concept of group prayer in order to make a miracle happen has proven benefits of working well.
For those still skeptical that praying doesn’t work for solving problems in profound ways, then perhaps you should check out those books written by Dr. Larry Dossey (yes, he once appeared on Oprah’s show) who’s written prolifically showing the undeniable scientific results of prayer interacting on internal and external healing. It’s not just the miraculous abilities of praying and health, though, and can extend to just about anything…no matter how banal it may be. As the Dossey books have pointed out over the last decade, the more people who pray (out loud or in their head), the more significant the effect of the particular miraculous events that occur.
I’ve seen personal evidence of what group praying can do in making certain unfavorable things turn into favorable outcomes. When it comes to praying for weather events, I’ve never personally seen that particular act firsthand. Nevertheless, the snow praying parties at ski resorts nationwide have been a quiet process used for years and only now getting more press because of the times and connections to global warming. Based on most cases, the results are favorable and a healthy snow falls not long after the praying party ends.
This isn’t lost on the popular ski resort up at Mt. Bachelor near Bend, Oregon. Because snow started falling early this year, it almost seems like a corollary that a dearth of snow will follow when it’s needed the most. That’s why ski resort employees and avid skiers are being invited to a “Pray for Snow” party on December 13 this year up on Mt. Bachelor. You probably wouldn’t have seen anything like this event on Mt. Bachelor a couple of decades ago. But along the way, proof was shown there that the praying parties bring snow every time it’s done.
Beyond the proof, though, what does it say when the praying aspect also involves what you might as well call a ritualistic “snow dance?”
Yes, when these praying parties commence (not just in Oregon but also Aspen, Colorado and most other ski resorts nationwide), you’ll frequently hear about participants doing a tongue-in-cheek ritualistic snow dance that supposedly works just as well as the praying. In Christian circles, doing something like this might look like a Pagan rite that doesn’t exactly fit in with the monotheistic form of praying. However, when you hear stories about the successful results, an argument could be made that our personal vision of God is providing snow anyway based on just the concept of praying and despite the silly rituals.
There might even be individuals who would accuse these praying parties as merely possessing a titular title rather than having actual praying. That might cross your mind when you hear about Mt. Bachelor’s upcoming praying party having a barbecue and bonfire, along with some live-act entertainment and movies. All advertisements for the event (and most of them) are strictly secular with references to Mother Nature instead of a direct reference to God or any religion, for obvious reasons.
Through a Christian perspective, the frequent good results after these praying parties may indicate that God is stepping in to answer prayers based on principle rather than specifics of how prayers are usually done. It’s rare enough to hear about praying in the mainstream press, let alone in the skiing world. Even if some of the skiers there aren’t actually praying in the traditional sense, I’d wager to guess that employees there suffering financially are learning to pray now if they haven’t before.
In the bigger picture of praying: It’s the heart behind the action that ultimately matters. When healthy snowflakes start falling normally again, it may be a message that a greater power understands every overly secular individual who makes a concerted effort to participate…