Silently Flying With Experts

When I was in my early twenties, before meeting my wife and while still living with my folks, I took flying lessons at the Pittsfield Airport.

Eventually I got in enough hours to have my shirt-tail clipped by my instructor. (solo flight)

Soon after that, I met Natalie and my priorities changed.

I wanted to save money for a down-payment on our first house.

During one of the lessons, with an instructor named Dan, he was teaching me how to practice a maneuver called a “stall.”

That was when you’d lift the nose of the plane up in the air high enough to cause it to lose lift, and then recover the aircraft seconds later so you don’t go into a tailspin.

I hated those lessons.

It got worse.

During one of the attempted “stalls” we lost more than just a few split seconds of altitude.

We went into a full 360 degree, out of control, straight down, watching the world spin like a Hithcock-trailer through the windshield, death spiral.

I was unable to speak.  (Hard to believe, right?)

Dan let it go on for about five seconds.

It seemed like five weeks.

All he said was:

I’ll take over

No argument.

Within seconds Dan had the plane flying straight again and he explained, even if I were alone, eventually the aircraft was designed to right itself.

I thought to myself.

That doesn’t matter Dan, I’ll never practice these maneuvers alone to find out.

At first I wasn’t going to make a Spiritual point today.

I wanted you to see that I actually did “shut my mouth”–once.

When God wants to get your attention, it may seem a bit drastic.

Yet His ways never mean He’s not there.

It just seems like we’re solo.

Those He loves always have His expert experience right beside them.

Allowing Him to take over is usually the best way to avoid panic.

Sometimes we just need to “shut up” and listen.


One Response to “Silently Flying With Experts”

  1. Susan Says:

    Oh James. I never knew you took flying lessons. How awesome. I enjoyed this column . You are right…sometimes God allows us to fly “solo” just to teach us how much we need Him. Susan

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