It was about 1973. I decided to learn to fly airplanes. I was a young single man with my eye on the sky, and after nine and a half hours of flying dual with “Sarge”, my crusty instructor, I was one more happy air-born bird.
One day I flew into a puffy white broken cloud formation – a big no-no for my category of licensure. Soon, all I could see was white – no ground in sight. “Well, maybe I can just fly a little further in this and break through to the other side,” I thought. Not so! I flew on until in the midst of all the white, I saw the top of a lighted radio tower zip past my left wing tip. Right then I had the wide-eyed realization that I had to take some decisive evasive action for my situation! I pulled back on the yoke to climb. I was somewhat agitated by my close call, so I was not accurately perceiving everything going on with the machine. I thought I was doing good, but after a time of “climbing”, I was dismayed to see that my instruments “were all messed up.” They showed I was in a rapid descending turn. “I can’t be heading down, I’ve been heading up all this time. I know I’m heading up,” I thought. Then I heard the whine of the engine. With that I had to make a choice. I could choose to fly by the way I felt and try to get myself out of this situation, or I was going to have to entrust my life to those instruments before me and make adjustments accordingly. Because of my training, I chose to go against everything I felt, and go only by the instruments. I learned a lesson that day.
The Bible is our instrument panel in the plane of life. We can try to make it on our own the best way we can, or we can choose to believe what the Bible says regardless of what we feel, what we think, or what our experience or present situation is. The Bible tells us that we fall short of God’s standard of righteousness, but it also tells us the good news that Jesus is our righteousness before God. Jesus gave his life and the Holy Spirit so we can be rescued and led in this life on a daily basis to safely fly home. Listen to the whine of your engine. You can know it’s time to start making adjustments according to the instrument panel. It is time to start learning to live the life of deep and true peace and victory in the midst of the fog through Jesus and the Holy Spirit and come out safely on the other side.
By keeping my focus on the instruments alone I got control of the plane, radioed the tower at Pine Bluff, got a DF steer (a semi-SOS) and they led me to a safe landing at Pine Bluff Airport. By the time I taxied to a stop and walked into the hanger I turned to watch the fog creep across the airfield so that I could not even see the plane out on the apron.
Our way might feel right, but flying by the instruments and taking instructions from the tower is the only way to make it safely out of the fog. 1-12-12