During my young adult years, the thought of flying brought an almost paralyzing fear. In my head I knew it was not logical. After all, people flew all over the world every day. Yet there it stood like a brick wall, ready to block my path to future travels and adventures.
The one thing I truly hated about flying-turbulence. Even when the pilot would say, “Excuse me folks, please keep your seatbelts fastened, we are expecting some turbulence up ahead,” it still felt unexpected to me when it happened. This sudden occurrence would bring anxious thoughts and a nervous knot in the pit of my stomach.
Deep inside I knew the positives of flying far outweighed this one negative. Reaching a faraway destination quickly, viewing the clouds from above, seeing the sunrise as you’re landing-amazing perspectives almost impossible to experience except when flying.
As I’ve gotten older and flown more often, my fears have begun to fade. Oh, I still get that knot in the pit of my stomach when those unstable winds hit, but it passes much more quickly these days. I’m also glad to say I am now able to survive take-off and landing without tightly closing my eyes and taking a multitude of deep breaths…progress, right?
Flying out of Tulsa this morning I once again experienced this unsettling phenomenon. I began to think about how it compares to life. As each of us travels our own path, we will without a doubt encounter turbulent times-those events which shake us, challenge us, frighten us, and cause us grief. A move, job change, loss of a family member or friend. The list goes on and on…and it is unavoidable.
Those thoughts left me with questions. How do I respond during those stormy times? Do I become paralyzed with fear? Have my responses changed with experience and maturity? As to the last question-maybe-I hope so. But truthfully, the answer to all those questions depends on the severity of the storm.
As I continue on my journey with hope for reaching my destination, I must learn to live with both the turbulent as well as the smooth parts of the flight. Yes, oftentimes the journey will be difficult, but it will also be beautiful. Either way, I must keep flying and believe that it will all be worth it in the end.
“Casting the whole of your cares (all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all) on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.” I Peter 5:7
“For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.” Psalm 48:14