I had done the training, I had gone over it again and again in my mind… all I had to do was count to three and then look up… then…hopefully, the parachute would be open and I would not have to deploy my reserve.
As I got the tap on the shoulder, I took two normal paces and a third very big step out of the aircraft and into the awaiting sky. Thankfully, everything went according to plan and after a fairly significant jolt I was floating above the ocean preparing myself for the cold water that awaited me. I successfully found the harbour (gravity helped a lot), was picked up by the retrieval craft and was finally deposited safely to land. It was an awesome experience and I cannot wait to do it again.
I was watching a couple position the Christmas display in their front garden and they were taking a lot of time about getting it just right. There was a lot of vigorous discussion as to just where the reindeer should be and eventually one capitulated and it was moved a few centimetres to the right.
There are some things that are important to get just right – like parachuting – you don’t have the luxury of learning from your mistakes. Other things, like the positioning of reindeers are probably not all that important in the scheme of things. As I thought about Christmas this year, I know that there are a lot of different ways we can celebrate and most of the things we do may not, in fact, be that important: It doesn’t matter if you have a hot lunch or a cold lunch; it doesn’t matter of you give big presents or small; it doesn’t matter if you sing Christmas carols or not. There is a lot that is left to personal taste or family tradition but I would leave you with one final challenge for this year.
What if, like parachuting, there is something that we must get right regarding Christmas?
What if there was something so important that if we found it, it would change our world?
The truth is that the trimmings of Christmas can often hide the reality within and we may just need a ‘jolt’ to wake us up again to what really matters.
I hope you find that truth this Christmas!
“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given…And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6