Free Fall

Now that my husband and I are officially old and living in a retirement setting, we have been asked to participate in a course at Messiah College where first-year students interview oldsters about their life journey. The students interview their subjects on three different occasions and then write up a paper drawing some conclusions that might impact their own life journey.

My student, Megan, was assigned to me at random. Our first interview was much as expected, covering the basic facts of my life. The chronology was simple, but I emphasized how often God intervened to add surprise twists and turns in my career path. I told Megan that if someone had told me when I was her age that I would one day write books about sex and talk to thousands of teens every year about relationship issues, I might have run in the opposite direction!

The second interview filled in gaps and we finished early, so I asked Megan a bit about her own life. One of the first details she shared was about how she celebrated her 18th birthday this past summer: She chose to go sky diving for the first time.

I looked at her in astonishment. “That is exactly what I did on my 18th birthday!”

Suddenly our interview lost its perfunctory nature. We were talking about a very personal connection.

More than half a century ago I jumped out of a plane. Ever since then I have wondered how God would tie that random experience into His overall plan. And now, after Megan was randomly assigned to interview me, neither event seems to have been in free-fall. God used our connection to teach a lovely young woman that He is still in the business of surprises.


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