Sunday, October 28, 2018

Finishing Well - And the Gravity of the Situation

by Rhonda Rhea @RhondaRhea

There are several reasons I’ll never skydive. I’ll give you my top two. First, I’ve seen videos of people skydiving. Skydiver’s faces? They…flutter.Sometimes wildly. I’m telling you now, I do not need to see my face crazy-flapping over my ears, thank you. That kind of wind velocity is just not meant for faces over 40. You can end up looking like a basset hound pup. One with its head out a car window. Multiplied by how ever many years you are over 40.

I’m not daring enough to sass the math. Gravity plus wind velocity times the number of years over 40. It’s an equation that equals: ew. 

Add to that math the second reason you won’t find me skydiving—and the biggest reason. It’s just plain gravity. Seems to me skydiving could all too easily become sky-dying.It’s not even the jumping out of a plane part that scares me so much as it is the inevitability of the hitting the ground part. No, it’s not the jumping, or even the falling. It’s the landing. There’s sticking a landing and then there’s splatting a landing. Forgive me, but sometimes I wonder if people who skydive don’t really understand the “gravity” of the situation.

That reminds me, though, how glad I am that I know where I’m headed, eternally speaking. I don’t fear death. I’ll be real here, I do fear pain. Actually it’s not quite fear of pain. It’s more of a very vigorously enthusiastic hatred of pain. 
But pain or no pain, it’s essential we know that our future is secure, and that death, however it comes, is not the end. There’s amazing comfort there. That always tends to put fear in its place. It can even put math in its place.

Second Corinthians 4:16-18 says, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal,” (ESV).

The Amplified version of verse 17 refers to our existence on the other side of this flappy-faced life as “an everlasting weight of glory, beyond all measure, excessively surpassing all comparisons and all calculations, a vast and transcendent glory and blessedness never to cease!” It’s a weight that defies gravity. That’s some math I can love. It’s a beyond-all-measure, never-ceasing glory. Its calculations are beyond comparison in this life. No need to bother with any old equation. This is the greatest of the “greater thans.”

I want to follow Paul’s instructions in this passage to “not lose heart.” As a matter of fact, instead of losing my heart, I want to keep it. I know it’s some strange math, but I think keeping my heart means giving it away. A heart fully surrendered to Christ is one that can look past the pains of this life—look past any wild flapping—experiencing renewal day by day. I want to live in that renewal and live this life well in the power of the One who created me. And then, I want to finish well. I want to “stick the landing,” so to speak. 

So here’s to living courageously. Hopefully also splatlessly.


Rhonda Rhea is a humor columnist for lots of great magazines, including HomeLife, Leading Hearts, The Pathway and more. She is the author of 10 nonfiction books, including How Many Lightbulbs Does It Take to Change a Person? and coauthors fiction with her daughter, Kaley Faith Rhea. She and her daughters host the TV show, That’s My Mom, for Christian Television Network’s KNLJ. Rhonda enjoys traveling the country speaking at all kinds of conferences and events. She and her pastor/hubs have five grown children and live in the St. Louis area.


  1. I always love your posts. Thank you :)

  2. Finally! The answer as to why I have jowls like a basset hound. One hundred seventy three blasts (parachute jumps). This article ensures I'll never make number 174. I used Ms. Rhonda's formula (OMG). What a great lesson today Ms. Rhonda. God's blessings ma'am

    1. Ha ha ha ha! This is great! Blessings right back, Jim!

  3. And for some of us, it's the fear of falling. For someone who doesn't like rollercoasters, skydiving is horrific. Thank you for your entertaining post, Rhonda. Maybe I should tell people these age-induced jowls are a result of skydiving (but then that would me fibbing).