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Faith and Flight  

Imagine yourself in the co-pilot's seat of a four-place airplane. You've just clicked your safety belt when the pilot announces, "I'll have you handle the take-off and then some other maneuvers once we get airborne."

That was me with instructor Ian Hawk at the Moody Aviation flight school in Spokane, Washington. Since you’re reading this blog, you know we survived the flight.

Watching Ian run through the pre-flight checklist of more than 100 items, I was impressed with the meticulous attention to detail that defines every facet of Moody Aviation. These men and women are superb professionals.

As for the flight, I felt overwhelmed staring at so many screens and gauges. But take off we did. And what a rush to pull back on that yoke, to watch the nose rise and see the runway and buildings shrink as we soared.

In my headset, I heard Ian's calm instructions and a good bit of pilot talk. So much to think about:

  • Was my rate of climb too fast? Too slow?
  • Having reached altitude, was I flying straight and level?
  • Was I paying attention to the airspace around me?

Pulling out of a tight turn, Ian commented, “There are a hundred ways for things to go wrong in an airplane. But most of them are hardly noticeable—until you’ve neglected the symptoms long enough that you’re in real trouble.”

But isn't that precisely the way it is with the Christian life? We have Christ's promise that He will never leave or forsake us. More than that, we have the presence and power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. But just like the instruments on that Cessna’s panel, we can ignore them or acknowledge them.

I’m hoping to hang on to three insights from that flight:

  1. Flying straight and level is far more challenging than I’d thought. Same with the Christian life. It’s disturbingly easy to get off course. Let’s not be fooled!
  1. There are plenty of ways to gauge your statusif you’re willing to look. But so often, we cheat our morning "pre-flight" time in the Word. Or we shrink our prayer time to a few "Bless me" and "Help me" phrases.
  1. Having a pilot who really knows is a powerful comfort! Knowing that Christ is right there beside us is the only reason we can have confidence and peace when the skies aren’t so friendly.

One last thought. If God is your co-pilot, you’re definitely in the wrong seat!

(Hope you’ve enjoyed today’s flight). 

 

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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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