Plane Creative CommonsOn my flight (I believe it was to Florida in route to Paraguay), I journaled about an unusual experience I had when looking out the window.  I don’t usually look out the window on flights, and even on this flight I didn’t keep my eyes pasted to the window, but still I saw tiny planes flying by–FIVE of them, I thought I counted, at different times–and that prompted a thought:

How important precision is.

If any one of those flights (including ours) had not checked in with the control tower, we could have had a catastrophic collision.  If any one of those flights did not follow the directions from air traffic control, all our lives would have been in jeopardy.

No one thinks it’s intolerant of air traffic control to expect the pilots to check in with them, or to have to obey their commands.  We might not think of it as commands, but really, it is.  The pilot can’t take off unless he has permission from air traffic control to do so.  The pilot can’t go willy-nilly on his own path through the sky, unless he expects to be fired (with possible lawsuits from passengers to follow!).

Yet, when we get to talking about God (although people try to tame the topic down by calling it religion instead of talking about God), people often throw out ideas like:

  • Most (if not all) roads get you to Heaven.
  • It’s merely opinion.
  • What’s right for you may not be right for me.
  • We’re all on a journey.  This is the path I’m taking.

But let’s go back to my airplane experience.  Suppose, mid route to Miami, I notice the pilot is steering our plane only a few hundred yards from another plane!  I rush to the cockpit and shout, “What are you doing?”

The pilot casually responds, “I’m taking a different route.  After all, most paths will get us to Miami.”

“What are you talking about?” I cry.  “We’re going to crash into that other plane!”

“Oh, well, that’s merely opinion,” the pilot says casually.

“That’s not opinion!” I scream.  “WE’RE GOING TO DIE!”

“What’s right for you may not be right for me,” the pilot says, sitting back, stretching his legs.

“I’m telling you, we’re headed right for that plane!”

“We’re all on a journey,” the pilot answers.  “This is the path I’m taking.”

That kind of attitude would never fly with any airline.  We all naturally know that the pilot should obey air traffic control, and that the route he takes shouldn’t be up to him, but up to experts who are in towers with computer monitors, tracking all the planes in the area, viewing every plane’s routes, and able to direct the pilot to the safest passageway.

If we feel this way about something temporary, like a plane trip, shouldn’t we feel this way all that much more about something eternal, like the destiny of our souls?

In a plane, the worst that can happen is for the pilot to wreck and all the passengers to be killed.

But in eternity, the worst that can happen is for our soul to spend eternity is the wrong place.  How will we manage if we are wrong?

Which decision should be assigned more intolerance for error: the course for a plane or the course for our soul?

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (Jesus, quoted in John 14:6b, HCSB)


Photograph by Preston Rhea, photograph here.

Photograph is under Creative Commons License.

Published in: on August 6, 2013 at 5:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
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