Keep the Engines Running!
This little picture was snapped out the window of Independence Air Fight 1577 between Charleston WV and Dulles International Airport. I don’t fully understand all the principles of physics that make an aircraft fly but I do know this, it has to have forward momentum. When a plane is going down the runway and reaches the proper speed it goes up. There is also that moment in airflight when the engines are throttled back and if feels as if your stomach is sinking faster than the rest of your body. In essence to go down you have decrease your forward speed. There is no staying put or even a moment of non-motion. (It is true that helicopters can hover –but there must be a constant and massive movement of air downward to stay in flight – or as my son Brandon –the fixed wing pilot—would say "helicopters don’t fly, they are so ugly the ground repels them.")
This is true of ones spiritual life. There is no standstill. It is either forward and upward or backward or downward. It is true there is a thing called coasting or gliding – but this is quite misleading. While one can have a controlled decent with the engines off it is inalterable a decent. It may be best described as a line from Woody of Toy Story fame – "That’s not flying – Its falling, with style." I am afraid that I spent time coasting and for those on the outside looking in – it may look good but I am still descending. The only thing that can keep me going up or staying up is to keep going forward. This leads to a sometimes-uncomfortable question. Am I leaning forward in my life with God? Are the engines of my passion for Christ at full throttle?
There is in every flight the moment of truth. The thing that flies through the air must come down. Again quoting from a clipping from Brandon, "Every takeoff is optional, every landing is mandatory." To make it to the destination the engines have to keep running, and a successful landing will verify a successful flight. I have been tying to make progress in my spiritual life for 34 years, sometime flying, sometimes coasting. I don’t know how many more miles until I land this thing called life but I do pray that I will accomplish all that God has for me.
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