Fear of flying blind

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By Dave Henning / September 12, 2016

“We know the fear of flying blind.”- Max Lucado

And he [Jesus] asked them, “But who do you say that I am?”- Mark 8:29

Max Lucado begins Chapter 4 (“You Hear a Voice You Can Trust”) of More to Your Story by telling the story of Jim O’ Neill, a sixty-five-year old pilot.  Fifty minutes into Jim’s four-hour solo flight, his vision failed.  Flying his Cessna at fifteen thousand feet, Jim groped for the radio and issued a Mayday alert.

Consequently, air traffic controllers contacted Paul Gerrard, a Royal Air Force Wing Commander.  Having just completed a training sortie nearby, Gerrard took off in O’ Neill’s direction. Upon locating the stricken Cessna pilot, Commander Gerrard hovered within five hundred feet of the Cessna and guided O’ Neill to the nearest runway.  On his eighth attempt, O’ Neill made a near-perfect landing.

In O’ Neill’s case, a stroke caused his blindness.  But, live also strikes us down, as Pastor Lucado describes:

“We’ve been struck . . . not midair, but midcareer, midsemester, midlife.  We’ve lost sight of any safe landing strip and, in desperation, issued our share of Mayday prayers.  We know the fear of flying blind.”

Therefore, following our ministry downsizing or vocation loss, many voices besiege us. Hence, we want to cover our ears and run.  As a result, and amid all the commotion, Jesus Himself asks the most pertinent question: “Who do you say that I am?”

Jesus first asked this question in Caesarea Philippi.  As Max quips, Caesarea Philippi “was to religion what Wal-Mart is to shopping.”  Most noteworthy, Caesarea Philippi housed a center of Baal worship, a white marble temple to the godhead of Caesar, and shrines to Syrian gods.

Believing in Jesus as the Son of God, we never travel alone.  In conclusion, Pastor Lucado encourages:

“True, we cannot see the runway.  We do not know what the future holds.  but, no, we are not alone.  We have . . . the commander’s voice to guide us home.”

Today’s question: After your vocation loss, what helped you conquer your fear of flying blind?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Welcome to the vest system”

About the author

    Dave Henning


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