013 - Trust the Pilot

"In the Midst of Thee" - volumes 1 & 2 contain 200 favorite Glenn Rawson Stories - at: History of the Saints . org

From “In the Midst of Thee” – volume 1.

A couple of years ago, my wife and I flew with a pilot friend of ours and his wife to Sun Valley for a dinner date. Our plan was to fly over and come back that night. It was my first flight in a single engine small aircraft, and my friend had only had his license a couple of months.

From high above the Arco desert that night as we returned, the view was magnificent. It seemed as though we could see forever in all directions, and the stars overhead were beautiful. Even now it’s difficult to describe what that was like.

As we approached our hometown, Jerry, the pilot, commented that he couldn’t see the airport runway marker lights in the darkness. His comment brought all of us to full attention. The chatter in the cockpit was instantly silenced, replaced by a keen sense of fear and nervous tension; we were scared!

We approached and circled the town, but the lights were nowhere to be seen. We would have to land in the dark.

It didn’t seem to me at the time that I had a lot of options. I could panic and become a screaming idiot, I could take over the controls of the airplane, or I could open the door and jump out. None of the options at the time seemed very appealing. For the first time in recent memory, I considered that I might die. Then, Jerry looked at me and with a calm confident demeanor, he said,

“Don’t worry. Trust me.”

Something in what he said, and the way he said it spoke peace to me, and I was no longer afraid; I felt calm.

Jerry circled and brought the plane down where he thought the runway should be. In spite of my assurance, it was still a tense moment watching the blackness of the earth rush toward us. It turned out that we were slightly east of the runway as the plane’s lights hit the ground. But with a quick skillful maneuver the plane’s course was corrected, and we landed without mishap. I don’t know if I have ever been so grateful to put my feet back on the earth.

Later I reflected on the experience. It seems that our lives are like that plane flight. We are all flying in a darkened world, and it’s too late to turn back. We’re in the air; we’re committed. The only choice we have is to see the flight through to the end. And when we get ourselves into trouble as we all do, some of us are tempted to quit, to bail out, [and] to end it all. Others of us arrogantly take over the controls. But both solutions have the same eternal consequence – misery and further pain.

There is a better way, one that will bring peace and happiness, and leaves us free to enjoy the experience and the incredible views that will be opened to us.

That solution is simple: Trust the pilot. Let him take over the controls, and not only will we arrive at our Heavenly destination, but by the grace of God, we will have had a grand and glorious adventure.

Glenn Rawson – August 26, 1997
Music: Old Testament Video Songs, track 3 (edited) – Sam Cardon
Song: Hold On, The Light Will Come – Brett Raymond