Monday, August 31, 2009

Is He Your Co-Pilot?

I loved Rick Warren’s tweet from earlier on today. It simply stated:

When a plane goes thru violent turbulence at 35,000 ft, you don’t bail out. You remain calm and trust the Pilot! Ps56:3

For those of you might be wondering, Psalm 56: 3 actually says: When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. If the truth be told, it really isn’t as easy as it sounds. I’ve been in a few ‘hair-raising’ plane encounters myself (and you wonder why I’m bald), and my initial instinctual response certainly wasn’t calm and trust. Why? Maybe because it isn’t natural to be flying at 35,000 ft through the air at almost the speed of sound in a thin metallic tube, knowing that you have absolutely no control over what happens while you’re up there. Heck, for most of the journey you don’t even know exactly where you are or what direction you’re headed in since you have no horizon or frame of reference. But that’s exactly the point isn’t it?

I’m always bemused at the FAA regulations that require flight attendants to perform a safety demonstration with life jackets or “floatable” seat cushions. Seriously, when’s the last time you read about people rescued from a plane crash on water who were found holding onto their seat cushions and expressing deep gratitude for their “flotation device”? Or when was the last time a plane crashed into the side of a mountain and people who had donned their life jackets came out unscathed and singing the praises of life jackets? The fact is, when a plane’s in trouble at 35,000 ft above sea level, there’s precious little you can do besides trust the pilot (and maybe occupy your time adjusting the fit of your arms through your floatation device/ seat).

Back to the story of one of my plane encounters. We were cruising at, yes you guessed it, 35,000 ft above sea level when I noticed smoke coming out of the air-conditioning vent. Now I don’t know about you, but when I see smoke at that altitude I generally don’t get calm, trusting feelings. Then the plane began to descend at an incredibly steep angle and the cabin lights went out. Suddenly panic set in and people began to scream (I imagine if bailing out had been an option at this point many would have gladly obliged). Being the sharp witted, brave individual that I am, and realizing that these could be my last few moments on earth, I did the most appropriate thing under the circumstances… I joined in the screaming. Except I wasn’t screaming arbitrarily, but rather, was screaming out prayers calling on the name of Jesus. I trusted the Pilot as well as the pilot. Needless to say, we landed safely, albeit on a foamed tarmac in Farmington, New Mexico (our scenic detour en route to Los Angeles).

I’ve seen bumper stickers that say “Jesus is my co-pilot.” The heck with that, I’m letting Him fly the darn plane and I’m sitting in the back!!! Just my two cents.


Hope said...

How apropos Joseph! I've been on a very long flight with the Lord these past months. I believe that the turbulence has even yet to occur. I am trusting in the PILOT because as we all know those floatation devices are man-made. I'm singing songs of praise and deliverance during the flight. Thank you for this post.