Once, while on a flight in a single-engine airplane, the pilot allowed me to position my hands on the control yoke. As a “wanna be” pilot who had spent countless Sunday afternoons at the local airport with my flying father when I was a young girl, and, in later years, had even taken a few flying lessons, I felt privileged to hold the yoke in my hands. In nervous excitement, I took the pilot up on the offer to fly the plane. Almost as soon as I took control, the aircraft began to bounce dramatically due to turbulence. This led not only to a sudden and serious bout of nausea but to the challenge of keeping the nose of the plane stabilized and moving forward in a level manner.
The pilot refreshed me on the proper use of the yoke and the rudders and told me to establish a focused visual. His professional guidance, and more importantly, my eager adherence to his vocal instruction to “keep the nose on the horizon,” helped steady the plane and made for a smoother flight even with me at the helm.
In life, we are sure to experience turbulent circumstances that debilitate us and make it impossible for us to move forward productively. During these times, fear and faith collide and we lose focus on God’s direction. The chaos can deafen us to God’s voice and his instruction. While we struggle to maintain some semblance of control, we are bounced, jerked and sickened by the roar of the circumstances.
For many years the cliché, “God is my co-pilot” has been touted on bumper stickers, inspirational cards and novelty license plates. I may be unique in my perspective but I cannot envision God in the co-piloting business. God created us in his image thus he deserves a more elevated station than a partner or associate, which is what a co-position implies. If we have relegated him to that place in our lives, it is no wonder our craft is likely to pitch and yaw and lose altitude when we encounter turmoil.
As our creator, God is well aware of our shortcomings and the fact that adverse circumstances affect our ability to hear his voice, see his bigger picture and give him total control of our lives. It is difficult to allow him to guide us but we must trust that he is the professional in charge of our vessel. He will “work all things together for our good” despite the unrest that shrouds us.
My prayer for each of you today is that you will surrender total control to him. Delve into his word, say a prayer that he will help you relinquish your grasp on the situation, take a deep breath and move forward under his direction.