Free Falling

February 3, 2009

Did you hear the story of the twenty five year old first time skydiver whose instructor died mid-jump?

I know, the question sounds like an intro to a very bad joke, but it’s true.   It happened this past weekend in North Carolina.

Imagine the scenario!

There was this young fellow, excited about being able to fulfill one of his long time aspirations.   He’d always wanted to jump out of an airplane and finally found himself in the position to make his dream come true.  He had everything he needed.

Airplane?  Check!

Parachute?  Check!

Experienced instructor? Check!

At last, the long anticipated moment arrived.  It was his turn to soar.  The instructor gave the nod and together they fell from the plane.  Our young adventurer said it was magnificent, beautiful beyond belief.  The parachute opened right on schedule and for a moment, he said it was “eerily quiet”.  The smiling instructor told him, “Welcome to my world”.

Seconds later, the young man asked his instructor a question and got no response.  In an instant he realized the instructor was unconscious.

Can you imagine how the first time skydiver must have felt upon realizing that he was suddenly completely on his own, while possessing NO previous experience whatsoever with jumping out of airplanes?

I, being one who sees no logical explanation for EVER bailing out of perfectly functioning aircraft, can only think of one possible reaction.

Sheer terror!

The young man however, handled the situation with great courage.  First of all, he’d been trained by the military not to panic.  Secondly, he recalled hearing about “steering” the parachute by pulling on the cables.  With those two tidbits of knowledge, he was able to bring himself safely to the ground – about a third of a mile off target, but alive and reasonably well!

When interviewed, he reported that his “survival instinct” kicked in.  According to him, he’d merely done what he had to do in order to live.

While I’d be willing to bet that no one reading this can honestly say you’ve ever experienced that exact situation, I’d also put some money on the likelihood that many of you can identify on some level with the emotions that could be associated with such an experience.

Think about it?   It’s quite possible that even at this point of your life, you feel as if you’re spinning hopelessly out of control in mid-air, intimidated and clueless about what you should do to rectify (or merely salvage) your situation.

And there’s no one there to help you.

Maybe you started out on a business venture with someone you trusted and they ended up taking the money and leaving you with the bills.

Or perhaps you married the love of your life, only to discover they’ve abandoned you for “greener pastures”.

Or the doctor might have delivered a bad report to you concerning yourself, or someone you love.

Lost your job?

Lost your house?

The list could go on and on.

The normal human reaction to any of the circumstances I mentioned above would likely be one of helplessness, fear, or even hopelessness.

If right now you are saying, “Yes! That’s me!”,  then take heart! Don’t panic and do not despair!

Whether or not you are aware of it, life has it’s way of preparing us for times like this.  Somehow, through the ups and downs you’ve experienced over the years, you’ve gained all the knowledge and strength you need to make it.  It is there within you and you can draw from it now.

Consider this. The inexperienced skydiver could have simply screamed his way to an unfortunate death, but instead he used what very little he understood about maneuvering a parachute to save his life!

Listen to that still small voice inside your spirit.  God put it there as your guide in times like this.

You see, even though all the evidence might suggests otherwise, you are never truly alone.  He promised never to leave you or forsake you. He said to depend on Him and He would direct your path.

While the choice of whether or not to acknowlege His presence is entirely up to you, I would highly recommend that you take Him up on His offer.

What do you have to lose?

Better yet, what do you have to gain?

Here’s to your safe and happy landing!

God Bless!

Becky J. Taylor

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One Response to “Free Falling”

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