It had been on my bucket list for years. I didn’t want to do it alone, so I kept putting it off. Made excuses. Didn’t want to spend the money.
Dear friends gave me a gift certificate for my birthday.
I got to go skydiving.
I have no idea why the idea of jumping from a plane at 15,000 feet was enticing. Almost three miles up with no place to go but down. The money was paid; the date was booked.
I was committed.
We headed to the coast early Sunday morning. We picked up Heather and the three oldest grands–I told them they could go fishing while they waited, and headed to my rendezvous with a parachute.
Upon arrival, I was handed a consent form thirteen pages long. Signing away any rights should problems occur during my time in the air. Broken parachute. Freaked-out instructor. Issues with the plane. I copied a paragraph explaining I understood the risks. Maiming. Paralysis. Death.
With what they were asking, I figured we should sign in blood.
Once they outfitted me with the harness that would allow me to jump tandem with a professional, I could barely contain myself. My daughter did the “Mom’s misbehaving” eye roll.
Couldn’t help it.
Once in the plane, it became real. When we leaped out, it became a thrill ride.
We had 70 seconds of free fall at 120 miles per hour. I could do nothing but grin. Feeling the force of the air, knowing the only thing between me and sudden impact was this guy tethered to my back, was incredible.
Putting physical distance between me and anything I was dealing with on the ground reduced things to what they really were. From up high, everything is small. The context was creation. The vastness of the sky, the breadth of the land. From up there, little molehills can’t be seen.
With God’s help.
He sees the big picture clearly–past, present and future. He knows what’s coming, what I’ll go through. He graciously gives me choices on how I’ll deal with those things. He doesn’t prevent me from bad choices. He teaches me through them.
The best Teacher.
Jeff was a great instructor. I had his voice in my ear, telling me what I needed to do and when. I was confident because he’d done over 5,000 jumps and knew what he was doing.
I’m more comfortable with God having my back. He knows all things and is a good God. He gives me power and perspective to live this life with joy, purpose and hope.
And He definitely cushions my landing.