An extract from Our Daily Bread:
"Underneath are the everlasting arms." -- Deuteronomy 33:27
On August 27, 1960, US Air Force Captain Joseph Kittinger Jr. sat in a gondola suspended from a high-altitude balloon. When the balloon reached 102,800 feet above the surface of Earth (more than 19 miles), Kittinger jumped out. Four minutes and 36 seconds later his main parachute opened at 18,000 feet, but not before he had attained a velocity of 614 miles per hour! Kittinger carefully planned his record-setting descent.
In the spiritual realm, we're more likely to find that life is filled with unexpected free falls. The loss of a loved one, a broken relationship, or a terminated job can make us feel as if we're dropping into the unknown. For believers, there is a spiritual "parachute" -- the loving arms of God.
Thousands of years ago, Moses wrote these words to the Israelites just before he died: "The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms" (Deut. 33:27). The words "everlasting arms" refer to the protection and preservation of God's people. Despite the stressful circumstances they would surely face, they could rest in the assurance of God's watchful care.
"Do you feel as if you're in a free fall? Take heart. God's loving arms are there to catch you." -- Dennis Fisher
ONE RECURRING DREAM that i used to have is this: i actually can fly! In the dream, i would flying fine until I asked myself this unbelievable question: "Can I actually fly?" Then i would start to wobble and eventually nosedrive to the ground. :-p (Not sure why i don't get this dream nowadays.)
These days though, i do feel that i'm metaphorically doing a 19-mile free fall (as the ODB writer put it). What keeps me going is my faith in the Lord AND my nightly prayers, my weekly bible study sessions, my attending mass at least once or twice a week, my rosary recitation at the workplace, etc.
It's truly reassuring to read Fr Mark Link's reflections in the Vision 2000, Mission 2000 and Action 2000 booklets. A poem in this week's reflections was particularly poignant (and like another recurring dream):
"My dreams for life were laid;
my journey mapped and made.
The Lord was at my side
to be my friend and guide.
So I started out.
But then the sky turned dark.
The road grew steep and stark.
I scarce could travel on.
I turned and cried: "My Lord!
Where's the road; where's the light?
Why this pain; why this night?"
"The Lord turned and said: "My child!
Where's the faith; where's the trust?
Why this fear; why this fright?
I chose this way for you.
Just take my hand and travel on." "