As Ivan McGuire boarded the small airplane with his video camera the experienced skydiver didn’t know this would be his final flight ever.
Ivan worked as a cameraman filming nervous student parachuters taking their first-ever jump. He’d made hundreds of these flights and any fear of leaping out of a plane from a height of three kilometres had left Ivan long ago.
On April 5th, 1988 Ivan McGuire jumped from a plane with his heavy VHS recording deck strapped to his back and the camera mounted to his helmet. He’d already completed two of these filming jumps that day, so he was a little fatigued – which may account for his soon-to-be-discovered forgetfulness. Ivan smoothly filmed the student strapped to his instructor as they both free-fall through the air and open their combined parachute – and then the surviving video footage goes from smooth to frenzied.
Shortly after the instructor had opened his parachute, Ivan reached around to open his…. and discovered that he’d forgotten to put one on. Perhaps it was tiredness or mistaking the video pack on his back as a parachute, but imagine what might have gone through the experienced skydiver’s mind as he was free-falling to Earth from ten thousand feet with nothing to save him. The salvaged footage recorded from his helmet shows Ivan going from matter-of-fact calmness to understandable panic.
Ivan McGuire’s death thirty years ago can be likened to a spiritual cautionary tale. Followers of Christ need to make sure every day we are including our faith in our Lord as our ‘saving parachute’. As we step out into the unknowns of our daily existence we all need to make sure we’re not going through the religious motions but double-checking we’ve consciously asked our Saviour to go with us.
For those who’ve asked God into their life the Bible says: “Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
That promise is a daily parachute of faith.
Click here to view Ivan McGuire’s helmet video of his final jump
About this blog: Pastor David Riley is a Christian minister residing on the Gold Coast in Australia. This article is from his “Reverential Ramblings” series – which you can subscribe to by clicking “follow” on this website.