So just over a week ago, Felix Baumgartner became the first person to break the speed of sound without the aid of a vehicle. It’s a mind-blowing achievement, to ascend to 23 miles above the earth’s surface and step off with nothing but a parachute to guide you back safely.
Felix is the very definition of a daredevil … you only need to search YouTube for some of his other crazy stunts but this was the ultimate challenge to end his career on, and what a challenge. Literally a huge leap of faith which in the process would provide valuable data and information that scientists can use to build the next generation of space suits and give them a better understanding of the strain that the human body can deal with at such extremes.
I’ve been following this mission for the past 3 years since it became public knowledge and being the complete geek that I am, knew as much about every part of the mission as I could … the capsule design, the advanced pressure suit, the test jumps, the technology and cameras being used … but up until a couple of days before the actual jump I hadn’t thought of the ‘what ifs’. What if all this high tech gear fails him, what if his parachute doesn’t open and what if the world watches as a man plummets 23 miles to his death?
Thankfully none of the ‘what ifs’ happened and he touched down with a textbook landing to achieve the incredible feat the Red Bull Stratos had set out to accomplish. In true Neil Armstrong style, Felix delivered a line just as he was about to step off the capsule which will go down in the history books:
Sometimes you have to go up really high to understand how small you are. I’m going home now.
An inspirational man who proves that unless you are prepared to test and push limits and records, they will remain unbroken.
Sometimes I think that about being a Christian, that unless you challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone, then those limits will remain unbroken … it’s something I’ve struggled with in the past and continue to even now. There’s a safe zone where people know me and where I’m comfortable and outside of that, I seem to shut down on anything remotely connected to God or church.
It’s something that hopefully I can work on having recently moved church. That was a big leap of faith for me and so far it’s paid off because of the new people I’ve met and the passion for God I’ve witnessed there, but I don’t want to just be a by-stander witnessing all this happening … I want to be part of it. It might take a little longer to figure out where exactly I am meant to be, but I know that I’m being challenged to step out in faith, to get involved and knowing that God will use me in the best way possible. I wish I could be as fearless as Felix because God is my capsule, pressure suit and parachute … and with Him there are no ‘what ifs’.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.