My mailing address growing up was Greenacres, Washington. It was, in my opinion, idyllic to grow up running and playing in the fields and forests. I am the youngest of 12 kids, yep 12, with four boys born all in a row directly ahead of me in the birth order. I spent my days trying to either keep up with my brothers or at other times stay away from them and their schemes that all too often lead my getting hurt.
One scheme that they concocted occurred during a wind storm in a wide open field next to our house. My brothers had possession of a “real live parachute” and were taking turns tying a rope around their waists that was attached to the chute. They were able to anticipate when a large gust of wind (app 50-60 mph) was coming by watching the trees sway violently on the hilltop behind them. One or two of them would then toss that parachute up into the gust of wind and it would lift the one tied to it up in the air 10 feet or so and then bring them back down as the gust subsided. It was a thrill, or so it seemed to me, a young spectator of these events.
I was about 8 or 9 at the time and was playing with my friend that lived up on the hill. We were watching these boys having a grand time when they directed their attentions towards us. They convinced us that we should give it a try as well. I should have known better but the promised excitement of being lifted up into the air was too much to resist. We both consented.
We were both secured to the parachute by two different ropes one around my waist and one around Sarah’s waist. I remember feeling scared and excited mixed with doubt as I saw the trees begin to sway in the gust of wind on the hill. The parachute was thrown into the air as I anticipated my feet being lifted off the ground.
It was not thrilling. We were not lifted up but rather forward. That parachute was dragging us across the field. We were being pummeled my rocks, earth and weeds as we bounced up and down over the hard earth. The wind finally subsided, I looked back expecting my brothers to be chasing after us. But no. They were paralyzed by uncontrollable laughter. I felt so defeated. But it wasn’t over yet. To my horror another gust of wind came and filled that parachute right back up and we received an encore of the same.
When it all ended. We were drug over 300ft . My face, torso and limbs were dirty, bruised and bloodied from all the scraps. My head hurt. My body hurt. My pride was hurt.
As I look back now I smile and chuckle. I enjoy telling others about the adventure. But in the moment it was terrifying and painful. Life is like this. Life can feel at times like we are out of control and being dragged about and left only with wounds to heal. None of us will escape this life without battle wounds. We all experience bad things, sooner or later. But this does not mean something is wrong.
This life is for the purpose of experience on a journey that started before we were born and will continue after we die. Experience can not be faked, it must be gone through. It must be had. Tough times do not automatically mean something is wrong with this world or yourself. Tough times are every indication that we are having an earthly experience. Some experience feels grand and joyful. other experience feels overwhelming and defeating and everything in-between. But….
All experiences, if we allow it, can be turned for our good.
That is a promise given to us by God.
“O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones.” Isaiah 54: 11-12
This promise I can see fulfilled over and over in my life as I look back on my previous life experiences. The evidence found in my past gives me hope and faith that the hard things I am experiencing now and will experience in my future can be turned for my good. Sooner or later and if I allow it.
If you are in a time in your life where you feel life is dragging you and you are battered and bruised have faith that this is because you are having an earthly experience. Turn to God and wait for His promise to be made manifest to you.
Prove his Promise.
*featured image is not of the actual event described.