There are several reasons I’ll never skydive. I’ll give you my top two. First, I’ve seen videos of people skydiving. Their faces … well … they “flutter.” Wildly. Honestly, I don’t need to see my face flapping violently over my ears, thank you very much. That kind of wind velocity is just not meant for faces over 40. It ends up looking like a basset hound pup with its head out a car window—multiplied by however many years you are over 40.
I’m not daring enough to sass the math. Gravity plus wind velocity times X the number of years over 40. That’s an equation that simply can’t equal anything pretty.
But in addition to the math of it all, the second reason you won’t find me skydiving—and the biggest reason—is this simple: gravity. Seems to me skydiving could all too easily become sky-dying. It’s not even the jumping out of a plane part that scares me so much as it is the inevitability of the hitting the ground part. No, it’s not the jumping, or even the falling. It’s the landing. And the possibility of it ending in a splat. Sometimes I wonder if people who skydive don’t really understand the “gravity” of the situation.
That reminds me, though, how glad I am that I know where I’m headed, eternally speaking. I don’t fear death. I will confess here, I do fear pain. Actually it’s not quite fear of pain. It’s more of a very vigorously enthusiastic hatred of pain.
But pain or no pain, it’s essential we know that our future is secure and that death, however it comes, is not the end. There’s amazing comfort there. And that always tends to put fear in its place. It even puts math in its place.
Second Cor. 4:16-18 says, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
The Amplified version of verse 17 refers to our existence on the other side of this flappy-faced life as “an everlasting weight of glory, beyond all measure, excessively surpassing all comparisons and all calculations, a vast and transcendent glory and blessedness never to cease!” Now that, my friends, is a weight that defies gravity. This is some math I can love. It’s a beyond-all-measure, never-ceasing glory. Its calculations are beyond comparison in this life. No need to bother with any old equation. This is the greatest of the “greater thans.”
I want to follow Paul’s instructions in this passage to “not lose heart.” As a matter of fact, instead of losing my heart, I want to keep it. And I know it’s some strange math, but I think keeping my heart means giving it away. A heart fully surrendered to Christ is one that is able to look past the pains of this life and to look past a wildly flapping, wasting-away face, experiencing renewal day by day. I want to live in that renewal. I want to live this life well in the power of the One who created me. And then, I want to finish well. I want to “stick the landing,” so to speak. Even if it ends with a splat.