"Grab here, amigo." I grabbed. "Hold on tight." I held on. "When you come back toward the shore and I blow whistle, you pull cord pronto!" Within seconds I was airborne. A loud "whoosh," a long strong jerk, and I was three hundred feet or so above the picturesque beach at Puerto Vallarta.
You guessed it...my first try at parasailing. Four-and-a-half minutes of indescribable ecstasy sandwiched between a few seconds of sheer panic. Talk about fun!
Above me was the bluest, clearest sky you could imagine. Behind me was a full-blown dazzling red-and-white parachute. Down in front, attached to my harness and a long yellow rope, was a speedboat at full throttle. Below, the turquoise sea, various sailing vessels, a long row of hotels, sunbathers the size of ants, and one beautiful lady wondering if she would soon be a widow.
I must confess, for those few minutes I forgot everything else. Never, since childhood, have I felt quite so free, so unencumbered, so completely removed from others' expectations and my own responsibilities.
I like to think that might be the true, authentic, carefree kind of leisure and relaxation Jesus had in mind when He encouraged His Twelve to come apart and rest awhile.
How easily we forget the necessity of recreation; how quickly we discount its value! In our neurotic drive for more, more, more, we become all roots and no wings.
Life closes in and takes the shape of a chore instead of a challenge. Fun and laughter, originally designed by God to remove the friction of monotony from the machinery of existence, begin to be viewed as enemies instead of friends. Intensity, that ugly yet persuasive twin of hurry, convinces us we haven't the right to relax...we must not take time for leisure...we can't afford such rootless, risky luxury. Its message is loud, logical, sensible, strong, and wrong.
We all need roots and wings. But most of us are long on the former and short on the latter.
Expand your world, free your mind, and calm your nerves. Don't wait! Quit worrying about the risk or complaining about the cost.
Take time to soar!
Sometimes say out loud to yourself: "This is for my good and for God's glory, even though I cannot begin to explain it."
Excerpted from Day by Day with Charles Swindoll, Copyright © 2000 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers). All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.