Saturday, March 16, 2013

The man who wanted to fly

From being a boy, Larry Walters dreamed of going up into the clear blue sky in a balloon. Years went by, but he never lost his dream.

One day, he decided to do something about it. He went to an army surplus stores and bought more than 40 seven-foot wide weather balloons and some tanks of helium. He fastened the balloons to an aluminium garden chair and tethered the chair by two nylon leads to a car in his girlfriend's back yard.

His aim was to go a few hundred feet up, sit and admire the view for an hour or two, then shoot out one or two of the balloons and drift back to the ground.

He packed some peanut butter sandwiches, a large bottle of pop, a CB radio and a pellet gun. He sat in the chair. Friends unfastened one of the leads and the other came loose. The contraption shot up like a rocket, so fast that he lost his glasses.

Up and up it went, until Walters was three miles above the earth. He tried shooting out one or two of the balloons, but lost his gun overboard. He drifted into the incoming flight path at Los Angeles International Airport. A Trans World Airlines pilot and a Delta Airlines pilot saw a man and some balloons floating past at 16,000 feet.

After a very scary time, the flying chair drifted back to earth and Walters was able to get off unhurt. Unfortunately, the balloons tangled with some power lines on the way down and plunged a neighbourhood into darkness.

Asked in a newspaper interview later why he did what he did, Walters is reported to have replied "Well, you can't just sit there."

You know, he's right. Life is short, and time is passing at a surprising rate. Life is over almost before you know it. Then each one of us will have to stand before our Maker.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ.  2 Cor 5:10.

Most people imagine they will go to heaven, but the truth is that heaven is perfect, and we are all sinners, if only because we haven't given God His rightful place in our lives.

God has provided for the situation. His only Son lived a perfect life and died an agonising death to pay for your sin and mine.

All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.  Isa 53:6.

But God forces His forgiveness on no one. We need to believe on Him, and accept His offer of salvation. Tell Him you're sorry for the wrong things you've done. Ask His forgiveness. Invite Him to come in to your life. Tell Him you'll give Him control of your life, and you'll follow Him.

Don't put it off. Do it now, while you have the opportunity.