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Borrowed Parachute
Photo: Derek Jones
On Valentine’s Day of 2005, Bill Parsons made his last and fatal skydive after filming a “tandem” jump in Hawaii. Bill was an experienced jumper with more than 3000 dives to his credit, but one fatal flaw in the preparation for that last dive claimed his life.

What was the cause of his death? He was using the borrowed parachute of a friend. Experts agree that Bill's weight, which was greater than the weight of the friend who loaned him the canopy, caused him to fall faster than expected. He crashed while making his turn in the landing. It was a case of too much weight and too little time.1

This tragic story has spiritual applications if we will choose to look deeper. Often, we as Christians try to attain a spiritual journey through a friend or relative’s walk with God. We attempt to live vicariously through their spiritual experience, not only to gain knowledge of eternal things, but to have a relationship with our Creator. Perhaps we think, “if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me.” That kind of thinking is dangerous, and can one day prove to be fatal.

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me” (John 15:4).

We cannot have a walk with Jesus through someone else no matter how close they are to God. To attempt this is just as dangerous as it was for Bill Parsons to use a friend’s equipment. We need our own personal relationship with God, our own spiritual parachute. The good news is that it’s available to anyone who will ask. It’s the only safe way to “land.”

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By Michael Temple. Copyright © 2011 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

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