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Of Skydiving and Marriage

After earning our bachelors degrees many years ago, my buddies and I decided to reward ourselves with a skydiving trip. Our wives were with us as we drove down to Molalla, all four of us having been married within the last year, and I recall they were unanimously less than thrilled about our plan. But they gave us their blessing and off we went.

Most first-timer skydivers do a tandem jump with an experienced skydiver tethered securely right behind them. This allows a novice to experience the thrill of a long free fall with confidence that the chute will be deployed at the right moment and that they will land in the right county.

However, my friends and I signed up for a solo jump using a static line, a long leash that pulls the ripcord shortly after departing the plane. I think we chaffed at the idea of being strapped to the front of some stranger, like oversized babies in a front pack. The notion of soaring solo through the sky was much more appealing to our egos.

We knew there would be training, of course, but we hadn’t realized how long it would take.  All day long we watched videos, listened to instructors and laid on our bellies on the floor practicing the necessary reverse arch. It was like a lamaze class with the roles reversed, and after a couple of hours we were ready to be done. I remember gazing out the window and silently thinking, “We’ve got this already; let’s get going!”

I would love to give a blow-by-blow description of the jump, but for the sake of time I will simply say that only one landed in the target field. The others landed in a tree, on the roof of a house and in a neighboring county. Okay, not quite, but nearly a mile from the target.

It is stunning to consider that many people get less training for a lifetime of marriage than they do for a one-day skydiving experience. And even if there is some training beforehand, few ever pursue anything more. We tend to assume that marriage should just work and that we are all naturally well equipped to do it well. This is simply not true, and I have countless gut-wrenching marriage counseling sessions to prove it.

This is why I urge married couples to consider taking part in an excellent marriage workshop coming November 19-21 at East Park Church here in Vancouver. The event is led by our own Jeff and Kathy Shenk, both licensed counselors who have been leading these workshops for many years.

  • Description: Read the details and register here.
  • Cost: $110 per couple for the weekend. If you would like to attend but need assistance, please reply and ask.
  • Space is limited: Please register right away since space is limited.

Whether you have been married for months or decades, or whether your relationship is harmonious or strained, this is a great opportunity to invest in the most foundational partnership God has entrusted you with.

Pastor Toby

Categories: Evergreen Connection