There was a loud unidentifiable noise last Monday on our morning walk. My husband and I were at a point on the walk where the Sea Grapes obscured our vision of the beach. But up ahead, we could see a small crowd gathering. A paraglider had crashed into the ocean. The waves were rough that day and the pilot, seat-belted into his glider was being pummeled by the waves. Over and over they crashed with only his head visible in between the crests. At that point, two ‘good Samaritans’ joined together and ran into the water to lend a hand.
As I stood in the distance watching this drama unfold, I mused that when the pilot decided to take his glider up that day, he most likely never gave a thought that it might be his last time ever. The same for the two strong young men who ran to his aid. They probably had planned a relaxing day on the beach, never expecting to put their own lives at risk in a rescue effort.
We have no idea which day will be our last day on this earth, and yet, how easily we are caught up in this world and forget the real, everlasting goal – eternal life with Christ. The late author, Dorothy Day, wrote:
“Eternal life begins now. All the way to heaven IS heaven because Jesus said, ‘I am the way.’”
Now there may be times that don’t feel like heaven, but God’s faithful presence in the lives of those who believe in Him will always turn darkness into light. Jesus, Himself, tells us, “I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. (John 8:12) So how do we get on that path to eternal life today? In John 3:5, Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the spirit.
At the moment we choose to receive Christ into our heart and believe in Him as our Lord and Savior, we undergo a spiritual cleansing and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit into our lives. We’re halfway there! In John 5:24, Jesus says, “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life…” When we believe in God, and in who He says He is, and live our life according to His word, we enter into a personal relationship with the Lord filled with the love, peace and comfort that only He can provide.
Back on the beach, those two muscular guys were able to free the pilot from his glider, even as the waves buffeted them, knocking them all down over and over. The pilot appeared unhurt and once they all got their footing they were able to get the glider and the sail onto the shore. This time they lived to tell the story. Isn’t it a great reminder to make sure our hearts are prepared for whatever tomorrow brings. We are able do that by following the two commandments Jesus gave us, love God above all else, and love others as yourself.