• Chuck Monan

Taking Unnecessary Risks

If someone says, hey, you know, this long weekend, let’s go skydiving ― I would say, no, are you nuts? I’d just as soon sit down and have a cup of tea.

― Rick Mercer


Josh Sheppard didn’t subscribe to this point of view. He spent years as an experienced skydiver and jump instructor, with more than 3,000 jumps to his credit.

On Jan. 15, 2015, he took on a jump with a more dangerous degree of difficulty than leaping from a plane: the 1,000 ft. TV tower of WLAJ-TV in Jackson, Michigan. Jumping from an airplane at tens of thousands of feet provides additional time to resort to backup tactics if there is a problem with your parachute. At 1,000 ft.? No time to do anything.

When Sheppard’s parachute failed to open, he lost his life.

I’ve wondered what it is that drives people to live life on the edge. Other than climb to the top of 13,167 ft. Wheeler Peak in New Mexico, I’ve never done anything like that, or ever really wanted to. Life seems to have plenty of unavoidable dangers without intentionally adding to them.

When the devil told Jesus to throw himself down from the pinnacle of the temple, knowing that the angels would protect him, Jesus replied:


“It says: Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” (Luke 4:12)

Words to remember when we consider the fallout our death would visit upon those we would leave behind.

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