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Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday Freelance: FREE FALL

"Sing like no one is listening,
Love like you'll never get hurt,
Dance like no one is watching,
Live like it's Heaven on Earth."
~ Unknown

Friday Freelance: FREE FALL

There's nothing quite like jumping from an airplane to ride upon the wind.

I've done so just twice. The first time was a simple static line jump, in which the parachute opened immediately from a ripcord fastened to the plane. A terrifying leap instantly became a calm ride beneath a circular canopy. I floated like a feather above the Colorado plain, taking in a 200-mile-plus view extending from north of the Wyoming state line to south of Pikes Peak.

The tame ride whet my appetite for a real sky dive. Having neither the money nor patience to make a couple dozen static line jumps which would qualify me for a solo dive, I opted for a tandem jump. I was allowed to control the dive, while the instructor harnessed to my back had oversight of safe return to terra firma.

This time, the plunge from the plane was anything but calm. My first order of business was learning to inhale the air pummeling against me, and take in whatever oxygen exists at three miles above the planet (11,500-foot altitude above the 4,900-foot elevation). A something-over-125-mph swan dive thoroughly overwhelmed soul and senses while I gazed at the panorama of creation in all directions, as the Creator Himself might. If Heaven ever pressed itself against me, it did so in free fall.

Speed makes for a brief plummet. All too soon the altimeter read 3,500 feet and I pulled the ripcord: instant calm. Quiet descended. A last few moments of consummate peace and bliss enfolded me before land rushed up and grasped my feet.

Free fall was the most intense and most exhilarating experience I can remember. My heart pounded with excitement, yet I knew no fear. I'd paid attention to directions and practiced maneuvers in the classroom. I trusted the pilot and my instructor, plane and parachute. I thoroughly enjoyed the ride, utterly devoid of any anxiety over the outcome.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
~ Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)

I try to live life in a spirit of free fall. I trust my Master for the outcome of every situation. Though He'll allow me to make mistakes, my life is surrendered to Him and I know He'll step in before I can act outside His sovereign will. If I'll pay attention to His directions, if I'll accept daily testing as exercise for more serious stuff, if I'm closely abiding in His Spirit Who can't be detached from me, then I'm free to ride upon the winds of life in a wonderful blend of abandonment and peace and exhilaration.

Let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.
Let them praise His name with the dance.
~ Psalms 149:3 (NKJV)

Though I might end with that last paragraph, I'm adding a rare prayer request. I've made mention of the fact that since I first observed it about 20 years ago, I've yearned to do worship dance. I often dance freestyle in our humble home with smiling children, or in love for God. Yet my heart's desire has been to dance with the majestic worship of a choreographed team.

For the first time, my church has a dance team, and I'm on it. Sunday night we'll present an expression of love and worship for the Lord, accompanied by orchestra and choir, before however many people show up in our 750-capacity auditorium. I'm the least experienced member of the team. Stage fright is a foreign concept to me, but I'm nonetheless a little apprehensive.

Our worship team's intent is that the audience will see in the dance and hear in the music the glory of our Lord, more than seeing and hearing us. I'd hate to distract from that, or to detract from the excellence that our God deserves in our worship. So I ask your prayer for my ability.

Most of all, I'd like prayer that when I dance, my heart will be focused on my audience of One, to Whom the worship is given.

I'd like to dance in a spirit of free fall.

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.


  1. I'm praying already. I loved your descriptive almost makes me want to jump out of a plane, almost ;)

    And thank you for reminding me that I cannot step out of the sovereingnty of his will, how comforting!

  2. T. Anne, this post took all day to write, come back to, work on some more. I can't remember when it's been so hard to capture an experience in words. (A gazillion other things going on didn't help.) Yet I knew right from the start that somehow, I needed to describe the joy of living in free fall because I'm attached to the Lord. :D

  3. I did a tandem jump once. The difference between the free fall and the parachute decent cannot be accurately described in words. You have to experience it to truly understand it!

    Don't worry about the dance. It's not perfection which shows and shares your worship of God, it's your heart.

    I'm sure you'll do just fine but just remember, you're not performing for anyone, you're worshiping God through dance. The two are very different.

  4. What an excellent post, Anne. I felt your free fall and the delight you take in it! I heartily wish more people knew the JOY of living in Christ. You are such a wonderful example of having joy in the Lord no matter the circumstance.

    Dear one, you have my prayers. I will breathe them from now until performance time. I understand your concern and won't minimize it. When I sing in worship, either with a group, directing a group, or in solo, I too want to offer excellence. I train and train, then I trust that God will use my talent, however faulty, to bring Him glory if that's my desire. That method has never failed me, and I've been singing in church since I was ten years old.

    Train and trust, dear Anne. :) God bless you today.

  5. Dance Dance Dance!!! Praying for you Anne... :-)

  6. May the Lord move through your feet, you arms, your hands, your mind and your heart as you seek to worship Him.

  7. I pray your feet with move swiftly and beautifully for the Lord. Before I had children I wanted to skydive. Adrenaline rushes thrilled me. But something about having 3 wee ones squashed that specific desire to leap from a plane. I must say you have triggered a new interest in it for me.

    It's the trust thing...
    ~ Wendy

  8. having a few bad "height" experiences in life beginning at the age of 5 has crippled me in experiencing the joy of freefall. this one would be dead by heartattack before reaching the ground.

    isn't there a scripture someplace that says God delights or inhabits the praises of His people? ...miss the times of Praise & Worship....the Presence of His Spirit, and watching the dancers waving their flags in celebration. i hope and pray that you and the others dance for Him in complete freedom and without embarrassment or fear. just dance for Him

  9. actually jumped out of an airplane? Your stock just went through the roof.

    For me, I like safety. I like the ground. I like the comfort of places for my feet to land.

    But I miss out on all the great adventure, and I think that's what your post is calling me out to do .....

  10. This is such a great post. Thank you.

    I will pray for you, but realize that the years of dancing in your home in worship has prepared you for something else. Much like David, the lonely places of worship give way to leading the congregation. It's God's progression! Be blessed and I know others will be blessed as you abandon yourself in worship to the King.

  11. Peter, I appreciate what you say about performing. I avoid that word like the plague. My favorite part of the last presentation our church did was at the end, as the congregation applauded, everyone on the platform turned toward the back (facing the same direction as the congregation), and raised our hands to join the applause and direct it heavenward in praise.

    Gwen, I will follow your example and trust Him to receive the praise in my heart, even as I ask Him to enable excellence. Your prayers mean so much. Your presence will be a treasure as you share my joy in person.

    Russell, I don't take that prayer for granted. Thanks!

    Glynn, your tweet today was a gem: "What's worse: jumping from a plane or dancing for a crowd?" I guess either one would terrify most people (my oldest daughter heads that list), while both exhilirate me (and my second daughter, who's dancing with me on Sunday). You've got to LOVE the diversity in the Lord's body.

    Wendy, I'd never push you to do it, or say there's no danger. But. Few things have made me feel alive like what I've described here. And I feel like it takes a lot more trust to live this way than to jump out of a plane.

    David, you're right. All of life is an adventure. What most makes you feel alive? Does it scare you? Do it anyway. Did you catch the "Friend" posts describing my friend Gwen (above) and I together facing fear? Eternal life started when you were born again. Jesus says you'll never die. (John 11.26)

    Jason, I guess I hadn't thought of dance at home preparing me for something else. That's a particularly helpful thought, because I hurt my back a couple of hours ago dancing with my eight year old. First time that's happened. I thank the Lord for Aleve, should I need it this weekend.

    Bud, you don't have to jump out of a plane to live life in free fall mode. And yes, that Scripture is a tricky one to find. It is Psalm 22:3, and reads thus:

    King James:
    But thou art holy,
    O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.

    Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
    you are the praise of Israel.

    NKJV (my favorite):
    But You are holy,
    Enthroned in the praises of Israel.

  12. Sweetie, wish I could be there to see you dance for our Lord. I love you, you are in my prayers.

  13. I really to loosen up!


  14. David, I'm praying for you in this moment that the Lord will make clear the next step He'd have you to make, take you by the hand and let you feel His presence, and lead you in a way that puts your heart in perfect peace with it all. ;D


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