Anita Messerschmidt (pictured above parachuting with Halloween-costumed instructor) answers the question, “What spiritual lesson can be learned from jumping from a plane?”
The jump is like a little bit of heaven. You just jump into the beautiful open space. You are above the clouds, sunshine everywhere, a sky so clear, blue and beautiful, Iowa fields showing off the beautiful fall colors, you can see the beauty for miles and miles and miles. When we were above a small cloud the instructor told me to look backward in the cloud—there was a circular rainbow! Beautiful—caused by our shadow, he explained. The instructor knew that I like roller coaster rides so he then spun us around many, many times! More fun than riding on the spinning tilt-o-whirls at a carnival—thrilling!
Trust: As I sat waiting five hours for the clouds to clear that Saturday, I learned that the people who do this for a living get certified and make an incredible number of jumps in a year. A couple of the younger jumpers who are certified had a guitar that I tuned for them. We sat cross-legged in a circle on the hangar floor and I learned that one of them had not missed a day at the hangar all year for jumping. I played a folk song for them and they played a couple of rock songs, then they showed me the night jump that they had done the night before on a large HDTV. You could see the lights from Winterset and Des Moines. The stars were amazing!
After listening to them I was super-excited to jump. The instructors are professionals, so concern for jumping 13,500 feet never entered my mind once as the plane took off from the ground.
I think I learned more a week later when I chipped a bone in my heel jumping off an 18” tall chair. 13,500 feet to the ground, no problem. 18 inches to the floor, painful!
Spiritual Lesson: God loves us, it’s not the distance we fall in life, it’s all about how we turn around and land!