Monday, January 12, 2009

Skydiving & Religion

In case you missed it, once upon a summer I went skydiving (If you click here it links to my skydiving video). I mention it now because last night I watched the movie "The Bucket List" its a good movie, I'd recommend it, but it has a sequence where the two protagonists leap from a plane. This got me to reminiscing about the time I too purposefully leap from a perfectly good plane. And since it was a Sunday while watching said movie, I was also thinking a bit about religion. It turns out that skydiving is a very apt metaphor for Christianity, but also religion in general.

The adventure starts with a choice. Choose to go skydiving, choose to be a righteous person. The next step is to learn as much as possible about said event. Talk with people who have been, read the literature get the training on exactly what is skydiving and what you will be doing. Read the Bible, read the Book of Mormon, read what ever great book you are pursuing. Participate in the missionary discussions. Next comes the dreaded waiver of doom (seriously the thing is two whole pages outlining in detail ALL of the ways you can die). This is your contract, this is what you agree to. This is your covenants. Do you agree to live well, to read daily, to become an active member and to not sue if anything happens. Taking an enormous gulp realizing your life will never again be the same after you make this commitment, you tell yourself its not really that much you are promising, ok it really is, but its not that bad and you are willing to accept the liabilities and responsibilities. Oh yeah there are those few parts you still don't agree with, "wait what I have to pay for the plane if it breaks?!" Wait what I have to be a good person?! Ok I have faith I can handle that clause, I can get over this, I can do this. In fact, I am going to do this! Step one complete, you have decided to make the journey.

You board the plane. The plane climbs. Whether you stay aboard or jump the choice is yours, but you are responsible for your choice. The time comes near. Altitude is reached. Your ears are swimming, you are clad in your special robes. Your mentor is there. It is time to take the plunge. With a "gentle" laying on of hands and a confirmation you are imersed. A former ground-based life safe and secure just died. A new life having tasted of flight is born. You have faith that if you listen to the little voice in your ear and do what it says you will land well and have a great flight. You have faith that if you pull your cord your chute will open and that you will be uplifted and saved when your time draws near. As you fall, you are witnessing a miracle. You a land based terra-firm organism are flying. You are gazing eye-level with the heavens and their majestic vistas are opened before you. All creation is laid bare before you. You can see the sky, the clouds, the Earth all ov it floats before you. The miracle happens but before it can you must have faith. You must make the leap before God reveals his hand. Time stops. But eventually it must resume. There is a plan for when you will pull the chute, but ultimately it is up to you when the chord is pulled. A parayer is said, "Please, O please, O please let this work!" And Lo! God does not disappoint. Gossamer wings unfurl above you, you are rise from your falling state. No longer fallin, you rise above your previous estate. Finally the time has come, Earth returns anew, and it is a promised land. A beautiful loving land, but there are yet trials to come. That voice that has guided you safely thus far whispers again in your ear, "pull up your feet." Obey, and follow what you have been taught and you will be saved. But that ground is calling. It looks so soft. How you long to just stretch out your feet. You know you shouldn't but it is just so tempting to touch down your feet and to embrace callings of the world. Reader beware! If you do reach out to the world below you, it will destroy you. The entire weight of the world smashes into you faster than you can react, you will suffer much if you let the world break you. You may eventually be able to walk, to regain use of your legs repentance is always possible, but if you follow the prompting of the unseen guide behind you all the way and let the world slide beneth you. You will come out safely. The choice is yours. May all of your days be lofty. May your ambitions be high. And always follow the voice of the one who leads you through your jump. May you one day help others too to jump. May god be with.

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