Fear! As I boarded my flight this morning leaving out of Atlanta, fear would’ve been the best and only word to describe my current situation! You’re putting yourself into a large metal vessel that weighs thousands of pounds, knowing full well it’s going to lift itself into the air and you’re counting on a pilot to make dang sure they get you to where you’re going! As we took off out of our gate, we were on an uphill climb to 34,000 ft before the pilot came on to tell us all was clear and then he assured us he’d come back on if anything was to change! Already white knuckled, gripped to my seat, apologizing to the 2-kind people next to me for any future karate chop inspired grip they may possibly experience though the flight. I don’t know what it is about grasping onto another human that can make the worry lighten up, but hey if it works…! I plugged my headphones in and thought, “If I just watch a movie and distract myself, I won’t even notice the bumps if they come!” (I was watching the movie book club and it’s hilarious by the way if you haven’t seen it) Well about half way through the movie, I was interrupted with the pilot who says, “We will be turning back on the seatbelt sign. Everyone needs to get to their seats and get buckled!” At this particular moment in time I was thinking of four letter words that rhymed with Sam and lit if you know what I mean! What made me the most nervous is that he didn’t even say anything about how long this was going to last, if he expected us to get to the other side, if the oxygen was going to come down to help me breathe at some point because of lack of air or anything! Nope! NOTHIN!! So, I did what most recovering alcoholics do. I debated whether a shot of tequila was worth it in this moment. I mean after all, substances work for basically any level of fear or stress. As the attendant walked by, I reached over the poor man sitting next to me and got his attention. I asked if this was normal and whether he thought we’d be ok. With a look of confusion about my fear, he assured me this was perfectly normal, and we’d be just fine. Then the worst part came, and it was as though Zeus and one of those other made up, muscle dudes were playing keep away with the large vessel I had based my entire destiny on. After about 30 min. (felt like hours) of panic, I FINALLY began repeating all bible verses I’ve ever learned in 31 yrs. At last, the plane evened out and we made it to the other side of the turbulence, unscathed.
As we were coming in for landing, I couldn’t help but almost chuckle about what had just taken place in my heart and mind…. not to mention the insane amount of perspiration that had suddenly left my body in a 30 min time frame. (On the plus side, I guess I won’t worry about the bagel and cream cheese I ate before boarding because I’m certain I burned that off) It made me think about life and how that is the perfect depiction of how we all view it. We have ideas, plans, teachers and mentors, well equipped vessels that we bank on getting us to our final destination and people in our lives assuring us it’s going to be great!! Then we take off out of the gate and suddenly it’s clear that we’re about to pass into an unknown yet very turbulent season of life with absolutely no explanation of what is coming. All we know is that it’s time to buckle up because it’s coming whether we like it or not. Our first go to is to white knuckle grip onto the first person we can find and for many of us it’s a bottle, a drug or a pill! If we have one or many of those substances, it will ease our mind and somehow make it less frightening. Then after we get done easing the pain and discussing the situation with our spouses, children, friends or family, we may THEN turn to God to see if maybe he has anything to say about it. We’re already drenched in sweat by this time and the anxiety is so high we can hardly function. Rarely do I ever turn to him first and lean in with an intent that maybe I must go through this hard season to sharpen and prepare me for the next task before me. I rarely assume I am being protected by my creator, that thought I was so important that he sent his only son to live on this pathetic planet so that maybe… JUST MAYBE he could spend eternity with me. No, I almost always assume I must’ve messed up somewhere or it’s just karma catching up from a choice I made along the way. A precious woman said at our conference this week, that When She finally slows down and draws near to him, she can look back and see that not one time has she ever seen his back turned to her! I love that because it’s the truth. Fear is one of Satan’s greatest tactics to get us to fall away from God and right into his arms. As glad as I am that he shows me these moments in love, I will not be boarding another airplane for at least year! Or at least until these clothes dry out and there’s new flight attendants that won’t remember the crazy white chick on that one flight from Atlanta to Albuquerque! Haha! Man, I sure hope that you know how amazing and loved you are. Even through the darkest, loneliest moments in your life, that you truly are never alone or walking through this life by yourself. There’s a pilot who has more training than we could ever dream of having that is in full and complete control of your destiny! We may not always get a description… ok we will NEVER get a full description of what’s coming next, but we can rest assured that the pilot that brought us to it, will without a doubt, bring us through it.
Until Next Time~