Looking back at one of my adventures….
It seemed to be a good idea at the time. I was in a place where I was searching for a closer understanding of God, seeking a more spiritual, divine connection.
I decided to go Sky Diving, a magical mission to explore and I wanted to sign up.
When I arrived at the location, I was eager to suit up, get on the plane and jump. Looking back on it, I’m surprised how unafraid I was because I’m scared of heights. But it just felt so right at the time.
After an hour of tandem instruction, my jump master and I loaded the plane anticipating the whole exciting experience. As we were connecting our suits together, we then jumped out of the plane with ease. It was a bumpy landing and he apologized, explaining his parachute didn’t open, having to open my chute. I was clueless. All I knew was that the experience was breathtaking. And I wanted more.
Next time, I wanted to jump by myself at 14,000 feet. After an extended informative class, I suited up along with my two jump masters and we loaded the plane. There is a protocol to learn and instruction to follow so this time it wasn’t just a free-fall like I anticipated. The jump masters had a checklist of steps I needed to follow and they were very serious about their job. Ok. I’m ready.
Our first flight together was so invigorating, taking a long time for the plane to fly to the desired altitude of 14,000 feet. Heaven here we come! All the skydivers were eager to jump, lining up at the door, but before they did, they were trying to get the pilot’s attention because something was wrong. The flaps were not opening to slow the plane down enough for us to jump. After a few minutes, it was fixed and the lined-up men were flying out of the side of the plane with great force! I see how this became quite an adrenaline rush. After an amazing jump, we landed safely.
The next flight on another day did the same routine but as the plane flew to the proper height, ready to jump, we came into a cloud and jumped! Never forget the tingly feeling on my face from the moisture and its pure white color. I found out later that it wasn’t a good idea to jump while in a cloud due for lack of visibility. Once again, I was living in the moment, enjoying every minute of it. I was taken aback by the beauty of God’s creation below and appreciating it. The divine patchwork below me was spectacular. Wow.
Looking back on this and seeing the obstacles that I faced, I thought God was telling me to take a step back; maybe this wasn’t where I needed to be right now or maybe try it once and move on. The chute not opening, flaps were not working and jumping into a cloud were all clues but I just didn’t want to see it because I really, really enjoyed being “in Heaven”. I was hooked on this glorious experience.
There came a time when I ended my jumping-out-of-the-plane experience.
One day while watching TV, appeared a news flash. A plane crash! There were skydivers, including my jump master and others that died after take-off at my jumping destination. The details were blurry. That could have been me!
Did I regret my adventure? No. Embraced the opportunity!
I realize that God is everywhere, not necessarily only in the heavenly skies but everywhere: in the serenity of a beautiful sunset; in the beauty of my Grandchildren. Every day God blesses me with miracles. Not exclusively at a high altitude: God is everywhere!
In hindsight, what I have learned is that when I go astray, God winks! If I still don’t get it, He nudges. I finally get it when the brick falls on my head. In this case, a plane crashed! Whoa.
Lesson: I was content for a new adventure but there was a part of me that kept pushing forward when it was really a time to stop. I believed there were signs to move on but the adrenaline I felt was invigorating, wanting me to push stronger.
That divine connection I was searching for also included a divine lesson in pausing, listening and letting go.
Finding balance is key. I see how brave I was and glad I took the opportunity to see what it felt like to fly. Would I do it again? Maybe.