So, this summer I had the pleasure of going indoor skydiving. If you have never tried this before, it is like nothing you have ever experienced. I highly recommend it to everyone who is able. I won’t get too much into the science behind it because, well, I am not that savvy. What I can tell you is that wind is blown from the top of a tunnel at enormous speeds. Yes, the air blows from the tops, not the bottom. If you would like to know more about how that works, check out the information on the iFly website.
This will not be a review of iFly but a reflection of my experience indoor skydiving. Before you are allowed to go into the tunnel, you take their intro class. They explained the process and how it works. They went over every body position and demonstrated exactly how you should position yourself once inside the tunnel. The slightest movement in any direction can alter your position in the tunnel. For example, bending or straightening your legs can move you forward or backward. Tilting your head up or down can bring you up or down in the tunnel. There is more to it than this. Please read visit their site or a try this at a location near you to find out more and see for yourself. In this class, they also teach you the hand signals for each position. This is so that you can alter your body to have the correct position while in the tunnel.
Before entering the tunnel, you are given a jumpsuit, goggles, and a helmet. I was very appreciative of the goggles. The force from the wind was enormous and my eyes would not have been able to handle it. When you enter the tunnel, you are told to stand in the doorway, hands straight up, and fall forward. Now, let me tell you my anxiety level was at an all time high…my heart was racing! I took a deep breath and let go. I was not ready for that wind. I remembered what I was told in the class and quickly positioned my body as instructed. My coach was there with me and signaled me once or twice and I corrected myself. If you haven’t gathered this yet, I am in a wind tunnel with extreme force and I must keep my body in a certain position while keeping my muscles relaxed. Sounds easy, right? Nope! I wondered why every coach in there was extremely fit and well toned. After my 2 minutes in this tunnel, I knew why. I had to fight against the force of the wind to stay in position. That required great strength. The muscles in my arms and legs were a bit sore afterwards. But, hey, I did it! I was so proud of myself because my coach said he didn’t have to hold on to me. I did almost the entire 2 minutes unassisted. Yay me!
Now, as I reflect on this experience, I am reminded of life’s storms and how God coaches us through, if we allow Him. You see, the force of the wind was so strong in the tunnel that hearing my coach would have been impossible. He instructed me and told me what to do before we entered the tunnel. I was able to ask questions and get clarification during instruction. God deals with us in a similar manner. He guides us, instructs us, and directs our paths. Our reference guide is our Bible. Through relationship with Him, we are able to pray and ask for clarification, guidance, and directions. The test came when I entered the tunnel. Would I remember what I was taught? Would I be obedient to the instructions? Would I freak out and panic at the immense wind or would I remain calm and trust in what I was taught? God never leaves us. Even in the midst of our storm He is by our sides much like my coach was by my side in the tunnel. I could not hear my coach because of the wind and sometime we cannot hear God because of the storms of life (sometimes God also chooses to remain silent so we learn to trust Him more).
I had to rely on the teaching I received and the word of stranger to keep me safe in the tunnel. I was nervous, apprehensive, and extremely anxious about going into this tunnel. I trusted my coach to be there, protect me from myself, and keep me safe while in the tunnel. How often do we actually trust God? He has promised to be there for us. God has promised to never leave our side. I am guilty of relying on my own devices to get through instead of relying on God. This skydiving experience reminded to trust God. It’s so simple, yet we make it so complicated. If I can trust a stranger, whom I do not know, how much more should I be able to trust my God whom I do know? I encourage you take hold of your faith, abandon what you think you know and embrace what God says. Our thoughts are not His thoughts and our ways are not His ways. It may seem unconventional and it may not even make since, but trust God. He will see you through.
I’m still learning to trust God more and rely on my own understanding less. It’s not always easy, but I want to be the version of myself possible. I want to be everything God has called me to be and receive every blessing God has for me. So, I acknowledge where I need to grow and improve. I encourage you to do the same. In doing this, I am being Expertly Me. Be Expertly You.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or foresake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 ESV
“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 NKJV
“God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.” Psalms 46:1 NKJV