First off, let me explain a word to you. Soldiers who are trained to jump out of airplanes using parachutes are called “paratroopers”. A life of faith is a whole lot like jumping out of an airplane with a parachute. It takes training. You can’t do it alone. It involves risk. There’s a bunch of unknown. People who’ve jumped out of airplanes with parachutes say it’s the most exciting thing they’ve ever done.
But they have to trust their parachute. And that’s a whole lot like faith.
And since these letters I’m writing to you are about faith and God and believing there’s something bigger and greater going on in the world than just the things we can see with our eyes, it makes me see you guys like little paratroopers, jumping into a world of adventure, but needing to trust your parachute.
Let’s start with this. Even before you came out of your momma’s bellies, things were happening to you. Things were developing inside of you. Things you use everyday. Things that are called “senses”.
You have a sense of touch. That allows you to feel things on your skin. When your bare feet sting when you walk across a hot sidewalk on a summer day or when your hands are freezing when you throw too many snow balls at each other…that happens because you can feel it with your sense of touch.
You have a sense of hearing. Inside your ears, little vibrations create sounds.
You have a sense of taste. Right on the tips of your tongues, you have tiny tasters that help you decide if things are hot or cold, sweet or sour, and good or bad. Hooray!
You have a sense of smell. Inside your noses, you have the ability to recognize different kinds of odors…like your mommy and daddy’s skin, your sweaty cousin’s armpits, or a dangerous fire burning outside your window.
You have a sense of sight. Your eyes are these most amazing parts of your body that allow you to see all the beauty around you.
Throughout your lives, many people will try to tell you the only things that are “real” are things you can sense…things you can touch and see and taste and smell and hear. But I have always believed there is more. Much more. There are things we will never be able to touch or see, but we can experience them, just the same.
Things like love.
When I look at the three of you, there is way more than meets the eye. Or my nose! There is something special deep inside each of you that makes you unique. That makes you different than your doggies and different than trees and flowers and mountains.
That “something special” can’t be seen or tasted or touched or smelled or heard. At least not in the same way that most everything else can be.
That’s why we need a good parachute.
There’s a lot more to say. Until next time…
Be wise, Grasshoppers.