One of the fears that I am still hoping to overcome is my fear of heights and of flying. I love the traveling part of flying, packing a suitcase, the hubbub at the airport, the embracing as people greet or depart from one another, even boarding the airplane. However, my anxiety escalates the minute my fanny hits that cramped seat and I look out that little portal window. I will admit to self-medicating with the assistance of the hospitality cart to get me through a flight on occasion. Once I feel a little warm and fuzzy I sense a certain thrill at getting to soar above the clouds and getting where I’m going fast. Someday I hope to conquer that fear rather than veil it like a superhero hiding behind an uncomfortable looking mask. How do they breathe?!
Meet one of my superheroes, our 20-year-old son, Isaac. He is not afraid to fly. As a matter of fact, I don’t think there is a lot that he is afraid of. From the time he was old enough to climb he would find the highest limb of any tree that would hold his weight. The day he came to me and said that he wanted to be a pilot I thought for sure someone had switched him at birth. How could anyone that came out of me want to fly on purpose! But of course, he looked too much like his Papa so that couldn’t be it. Every since he has been taking flying lessons, he has been telling me that someday he would take me up in a plane he was flying. I told him that if I was going to die in a plane crash it may as well be with him.
He and I had an interesting conversation the other day about turbulence. I had opened a fortune cookie that said “Turbulence is a life force. It is opportunity. Let’s love turbulence and use it for change”. I don’t believe in fortune cookies (I just think they are fun) but I asked him if turbulence had any positive effects on flying. He said, “Turbulence is a pain in the [neck](cleaned that up)”. I have been thinking about it and I agree. But whenever life would get rough when I was a child my Daddy would say, “It will make you a better person.” So I suppose that turbulence can make a better pilot.
When it comes to the turbulence of temptations in our life, the book of James Chapter 1 jumps into the subject starting in verse 2 –
“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
“Wanting nothing”. When I think about temptations in my life it usually boils down to my wanting something. Temptation and covetousness can cover a lot of areas including sex, money, material things, popularity, beauty, health, children, comfort, [fill in whatever we don’t have or want more of that causes discontent], etc..
When a skydiver jumps from an airplane and “falls” into heavy turbulence it can make for a very difficult landing unless they know how to navigate it. It is important to know the weather conditions before even leaving the ground. The same is true for what we let ourselves get into on a daily basis. Certain places or activities are sure to lead us into the “same” old temptations and we know better than to go there. It is the “divers” temptations that we cannot avoid on a daily basis that we fall into that we count for joy. The only way we can build the muscle of our faith is when there is resistance. No pain no gain. Even skydivers can use pockets of turbulence to make their jump a more joyful ride. But if that skydiver forgets to suit up with a parachute it is doubtfully going to be a pleasant fall. It is knowing that the parachute and the control cords will carry them safely to the ground that gives them peace and joy on the way down. In the same way, if we do not have faith in Jesus Christ to guide us through the turbulence in this life, we will be miserable until we…splat.
I know someday if I skydive, that as I am falling there will be a longing in my heart for my feet to be on the ground again. I could get there a lot faster if I didn’t have to wait for the parachute to swing me gently to a landing but I don’t think the end result would be a pretty sight. I will have to wait patiently and hopefully enjoy the ride.
“Yeah right!”, you chuckle, “Like you will ever skydive? Hah!”. Well, I am giving myself and my readers a challenge. If this blog ever reaches 100,000 visitors a day between now and July 27th, 2018, I will skydive. It sounds like a lofty number but I believe in aiming high! It won’t be one of those indoor jumps but a real “OMG what am I doing?” jump. I will record every tear and soiled pants moment and post it here! I will also invite anyone that wants to join me (at their own expense) to do the same. Of course, you can probably guess who the one taker I already have to the challenge is and he won’t be flying the plane. This is something that I have never dreamed of doing. I have always said that skydivers were crazy and that I would never do it! Never say never.
What can you do to see this spectacle? Read & enjoy, comment, like, follow & share. I will keep you posted on the sidebar of the blog with a countdown and our progress. As I hit the “Publish” button on this post it is with very mixed emotions. One side of me is hoping to see the readership of this blog grow. On the other side, I am shaking in my flip-flops at the thought of everyone taking this seriously and helping to propel me up past my fears to watch me jump and fall. What are your thoughts? Are you in with me? Please leave your comments below. This will be fun! I look forward to your feedback. Till then…
p.s. – Ironically my Daddy’s nickname for me was Bird!
Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.