Last year we were given gift cards to iFly, a sky diving experience without the actual sky diving. It is an indoor wind tunnel? tube? where you experience the feeling of sky diving while being much, much closer to the ground.
I ended up giving Thomas my ticket and Isaac gave Carrie his, so they and the rest of the Babiones “flew”. After everyone was done, and we were sitting around our table at Chipotle talking about the experience, we were surprised by what we discovered.
Before anyone was allowed to go into the wind tunnel, they had to suit up and watch a short video that explained how things worked. The video told what signals to use to communicate, and how to position your body to stay safe. Yet, the video couldn’t give the actual experience, and that was the most common response from our flyers, “I didn’t realize how hard the wind would hit my face.” or “I wasn’t expecting it to be so hard to move my body around.”
Some said, “I thought I was doing it right until the instructor signaled me to change something.”
You see, just watching the video wasn’t enough to actually fly in the wind tunnel. All of our family would have been a hot mess in that tunnel, even though they watched the video, if the instructor hadn’t been in there with them.
So, what does this have to do with Christ?
Many people read books about meeting outside the institution and then believe they can do it; just like watching the video on flying. Then, they get together with others and everything ends up a hot mess. Unfortunately, many then decide that the problem lies with the information they had, instead of with the fact that they could have used some help from someone experienced in meeting outside the institution. That having an instructor in the wind tunnel with you can make all the difference.
I recently heard of a man who meets with other saints organically who believed that they could just figure this out on their own. Now, a couple years later he is singing a different tune, and he gladly admits it. Help is necessary. Not because our God isn’t able, but because that is His very way. He loves it when we are interdependent upon one another.
When we were sky diving, there was a man outside the tunnel controlling the wind speed. He and the instructor would communicate and make adjustments as needed. I saw this as a beautiful picture of the Father and Son working together to grow up their family. And on the second time in the tunnel, the instructor would grab ahold of the flyer and ride the wind with them way up high. With his help the flyers were able to do something they never could have done on their own.
How very like our Jesus.