When it comes to college students and their Spring Break plans, I thought Robbie and I had seen it all. Our kids have done missions trips (aren’t we good parents?), the booze cruise (okay, so forget I asked), and pretty much everything in between. And, over the years, we have dished out all the usual pre-travel parental guidance: Don’t go out alone. Don’t forget your sunscreen. Don’t drink the water.
Clearly, though, we forgot one critical piece of advice: Don’t jump out of an airplane.
Especially in a foreign country.
With a man you know only as “Ollie.”
Not that any of these tips would have mattered to Virginia. Maybe it’s a birth-order thing (she’s third in the line-up), but this child has developed a keen sense for how things are apt to go down. If she thinks we’ll be on board with whatever plot she is hatching, she welcomes our input. If not, well, there is always forgiveness.
Like, how sorry was Virginia, really, when she held up her hand (“SORRY MOM + DAD!”) so that her new pal Ollie (the one who strapped her into a backpack without anything remotely close to a signature required) could take a mid-air selfie?
(Seriously. Does she look sorry to you?)
When Robbie saw the Instagram post, his comment was quick and to the point: “You’re dead.”
I refrained from commenting, not because I had nothing to say, but because I had already commented on an earlier post and I know better than to go on record, publicly, with anything that might be mistaken for an excessive interest in my 21-year-old’s life.
But I was eager to hear about the jump, and when I finally got Virginia on the phone, she summed it up perfectly:
“It was John 10:10, Mom. It was amazing!”
Now I’m not sure Jesus had skydiving in mind, but his promise to his followers – “I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full” – actually fits. That’s the NIV translation; other popular versions describe a life lived “more abundantly” (KJV), one that is “rich and satisfying” (NLT), and one that is “more and better…than they ever dreamed of” (MSG).
And while I wouldn’t necessarily advocate jumping out of an airplane (even with Ollie, who I am sure is a very safe person), I do think there is a metaphor here. I mean, when we make a decision to trust God – as in, really trust him, with all that we have and all that we are – it can feel a little scary.
A little like losing control.
A little like jumping into the clouds when you can’t see the ground – or even, for that matter, the Person you have decided to strap yourself to.
Trusting God is all of these things, and more. It takes faith (and sometimes even guts), but it opens the door a “rich and satisfying” life, one that is “more and better” than anything we could ever imagine.
And, at the end of the day, it’s amazing.