Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. ~E. H. Peterson
I'm on the cusp of my journey to Italy. As I think about the adventure and uncertainty ahead, I'm reminded of a dream I had when I was twenty years old. I stood in the open doorway of an airplane, the wind buffeting me as I readied myself to jump. I felt a compilation of anxiety and adrenaline racing through my veins. I was scared. I trembled. Yet somewhere in the back of my mind there was a reservoir of peace, because I knew my instructor was by my side. And I trusted that he had taught me well.
I didn't doubt knowing as I stood hovering on the edge, that I would jump--knowing that I could jump. Embedded in that supply of peace was a thread of confidence--again not so much in myself, but rather in the imparted wisdom of my instructor. My teacher sat kneeling by my feet, saying nothing, yet I felt the comfort of his presence. Then right before I dived into the yawning sky, I turned to look at him. His eyes, the color of the sea, light-filled, met mine. There was deep love communicated through the brief gaze. I needed nothing more. I leapt.
At first I felt only blazing fear as I plummeted toward the ground. But I remembered what I needed to do--even through the terror. I pulled the rip cord, and I could feel the parachute billowing out from my pack and slowing the descent. And it was then I could see. As I looked down, I noted silver streams glinting through trees, rectangles of golden and red earth, green swaths of foilage. I realized that unless I had jumped, I would never have had the unique perspective. And the glory of that viewpoint was worth trusting my instructor--that he had taught me well, and that I could take the risk to make the leap, because I had learned the skills. He would not have permitted the dive if he had not trusted my ability.
And I landed, both feet on the ground. On target. No broken bones--my body and soul intact, infused with holy confidence.
I had that dream, now decades ago, when I'd gone through a sad and lonely break up with a young man who I loved very much. We just didn't work out. That dream helped me move on--to jump into my life again, even though I felt intense desperation that I would not love again. The love of the Master teacher urged me on.
And I keep on needing to jump at different times in my life. As I know you do, too, dear reader. I encourage you to trust the Master with whatever terrifies you. He is kneeling beside you. He has taught you well. You can trust HIm. Meet His gaze. There is deep love for you. Your parachute will open. You will land well. You have learned the unforced rhythms of grace.
I'll be away from the page for several weeks. I will be back the week of March 14. I'm confident I will have stories to tell of the Master's instruction and faithful tutelege as I trod new landscapes. God's peace, abiding favor and oceanic love keep you, shelter you.