LETTING GO TO SAVE OUR LIVES
I crouched in the doorway of the airplane, next to my skydiving coach.
I held on to the doorway with my right hand for balance. With my left hand, I firmly grasped my coach's gripper, a padded piece of cloth on his jumpsuit. It was up to me to give the count. "Ready, set." I heard a snicker. "Get out of the plane," someone hollered. "Go."
I released my grip on the door, closed my eyes, and dove head first into the air with my left hand firmly attached to my jump master's gripper. We wobbled around for a moment. The plan was, we would turn to face each other in the air, I would grab his other shoulder grip, get my balance, then I'd release him. He turned to face me. I grabbed his other grip. Now I was falling stable and holding on with both hands. He nodded, giving me my cue to let go. I shook my head, carefully, so as not to lose my balance. He looked confused, then nodded again. I shook my head again, clinging more tightly. I looked at my altimeter. Six thousand feet. Thank God. It was almost time to pull. I released my grips. I just let go. Obviously, I couldn't safely pull my ripcord while I was hanging on to him. It was time to save my own life. My coach backed away. I signaled, and then pulled my ripcord. My parachute made that sweet whooshing sound, the one I had come to identify as the sound it makes when it opens correctly and fills with air, slowing my fall into a float. Wow! I thought. This is really fun!
Sometimes we're so scared, all we can think to do is hang on. Hanging on in this case was a silly illusion. We were both falling through the air. Holding on to a relationship that's not working, a negative self-image, a job that isn't working, moments and times that have passed, or emotions such as fear and hurt can be silly illusion, too. To save our own lives, sometimes we have to let go first.
God, show me what I need to let go of, and when it's time to do that.