About 3 years ago I went skydiving.
It was a spur of the moment sort of adventure. A chapel speaker was at our college and he spoke about taking risks. Don’t be afraid to live a dangerous life because only dangerous lives change the world. – Or something like that.
Back at the dorm my friends and I started talking about crazy adventures we wanted to have before we die. Someone said travel to Europe, another wanted to meet the president, and one guy, who shall remain unnamed, said he wanted to run naked through campus.
After that odd aside the idea of skydiving was thrown on the table. Everyone in that room jumped on it. Ya! That sounds great, lets do it.
So the next day I called the nearest skydiving company, asked for prices, and reserved a time for the following week.
I was pumped! We were actually going to take a risk and check something off of our bucket lists. I gathered the guys together to lay out the information and I was blind sided by what happened next.
They backed out. All of them.
Well all but two: me and one other.
Rather than be discouraged, that episode cemented in my mind that this skydiving adventure was going to happen.
The day arrived. I had butterflies the size of eagles in my stomach.
Was I crazy? I don’t normally do things like this?
We got there and watched a strange video that simultaneously tried to reassure the watcher about how safe skydiving actually is while it listed various ways one could die. The first time you go you have to go tandem, which means you’re strapped to an experienced jumper. It lowers your chance of becoming a statistic.
My friend and I finally got geared up, jumped onto the plane with our tandem guides and took off. What had been eagle-sized butterflies were now Class A bombers. I could have laid the background for a dubstep mix with the rate at which my heart was beating.
The plane climbed for a solid 10-15 minutes. When we were at the determined height we were attached to our guides, the plane door slid open, and we had to lean out of the door to get ready. This was by far the scariest part.
The guide yelled, “Just fall forward on three,” and began to count. One…Two...what the heck was I thinking… Three!
Woosh and we were out.
You fall fast, around 120mph, but you’re so high it feels like the ground is a day away. After a good amount of falling you pull the chute and float down nice and easy.
About 300,000+ people jump every year.
Now I want you to think about something, what is a parachute made out of? It’s basically a piece of nylon cloth, some glue and cords pieced together for optimum strength. But that’s it.
That means 300,000+ people every year literally trust their lives to some cloth, glue and cords.
In my one seminary class we’ve been discussing the difficulty with trusting God. We all believe he has called us to great things – but at the moment the cards are stacked against us. Health issues, financial shortcomings, scheduling conflicts, relationship hardships – all of these stand in between us and where we believe God is leading us.
I look at what I have to lose and say I’m not sure God, I don’t know how this is going to work.
And then I remember skydiving. That day I put my life on the line and blindly trusted a few inanimate materials. But God is SO MUCH MORE than materials and He definitely not inanimate!
I’m cautious about what I trust God with. I fear that he might forget about me or not see some unforeseen factor. Basically, I don’t skydive with God.
But we should. I want to have faith to jump out – whether it’s a plane or a boat or just a situation I’m not entirely comfortable with. God offers to hold us with more than nylon cloth and glue. He offers his own hands. The same hands that are big enough to hold the universe are also tender enough to hold his children. He gave his own Son so that we would trust him. Jesus gave everything so we could go tandem with him in this life.
To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God.
No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame.
Psalm 25:1-2a, 3a