“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return” – Leonardo da Vinci
I am sure many of you have taken an airplane to one destination or another at some point in your life. I also have those readers that say “I ain’t flying on no airplane.” Complete country slang and improper English, but I know exactly what they are talking about. Lol.
There is something about an airplane flight that grows you closer to God. In perilous moments, a lot of folks find God who may have never known Him. I often think of the incredible movie, The Green Mile, and old foul mouthed Toot-Toot.
I will paraphrase some of this because I tried to see the greater good in all the terrible words. During the rehearsal, he would say “I’m getting right with Jesus, getting down on my knees, praying, being sorry all the bad stuff I done. I won’t do it again, that’s for sure.”
Let me walk you through the pre-flight experience. First, you experience the airport pandemonium by arriving several hours early to get through the multiple steps involved in the process of flying. After check in and baggage, the TSA agents stare at your identification in a back and forth manner from card to face non-verbally questing if you are the same person as seen in your photo.
For those of you that were a little younger or lighter in your id photo, you get a little nervous and start wondering yourself if you are actually the same person. Next, you step into the long line where you strip down to almost your birthday suit taking off your shoes, watches, wallets, contacts, hats, underwear, dignity, and pride.
After they strip you all down one by one, they send you through the full body scanner, and let me tell you from personal experience; you only move when they tell you to move.
You find the yellow feet painted on the floor and step into and wait until told to turn sideways. Whatever you do, don’t turn left. Lol. You most always will turn to your right, but you only turn when told to do so. You are then looking at a hangman picture in the “I’m getting ready to get arrested” picture when the TSA agent will tell you place your hands above your head at a point.
For some of you, this may be a position you are all too familiar with one way or another. After you’ve received your full dose of penetrating radiation, you feel violated and curious all at the same time as they discretely look at your full body three-dimensional photograph. For all the money you pay, you should at least get a copy yourself. You at least get your picture in the paper when you get arrested.
Afterwards you scurry back into the line to grab your underwear, shoes, bras, belts, wigs, brains and whatever dignity you have left. Herded like cattle, you grab all your stuff and get dressed in like five milliseconds so you can race to your terminal. Now going to the terminal is really where you can feel really good about yourself no matter what personal issues you face.
Most certainly you will see ALL kinds of people and you begin to get a little confidence back that the security screening robbed you of by witnessing all the creatures of this Earth. Your confidence build is only momentary, so get as much of it as you can taking in all the sights.
Once your plane begins to board, reality begins to set in that once you step foot off the terminal and onto the airplane; that life is totally out of your control. You sit down and listen to all the flight attendant instructions on oxygen masks, emergency exits, and personal flotation devices.
If it hasn’t set in just yet, it does after these briefings. You reach up to cut your air vent on because you are nervous and sweaty not knowing if this is your final ride. Some make a run for the bathroom to take out all their anxiety on the toilet. Others prefer not to go to the bathroom and instead allow their relief valves to blow discretely in their seats thinking they are a storage facility with a direct line to the fuel tanks.
I can tell you absolutely nothing about the airplane bathroom experience. After many, many, flights I have yet to experience that; but when I do I am sure it will make for a great blog. Lol.
As you take off in this big soda can with wings, you can’t help but get closer to God. You look around and see people with their eyes closed, praying just like you are and old Toot-Toot in The Green Mile. During tragedy, people often wonder “Where is God in all this!”
After the September 11th World Trade Center attacks, attendance in church rose with most people looking for answers. When faced with adversity, people look for answers to the most profound questions. Sometimes people are upset and discontent, dismissing His existence because they can’t comprehend why He would allow such things.
We serve a sovereign God who is always in control, even in the worst of situations. Even the Apostle Paul pleaded with God three times to take away the thorn in his flesh before he finally found God’s grace to be sufficient. The bible teaches us we must know that God is always in control, always knows what’s best for us, and sees our beginning and our end.
We must trust His sovereignty when faced with adversity or misunderstanding. God’s providence is His constant care for and His absolute rule over all His creation for His own glory and the good of His people. God has an eternal plan for all of our lives and he arranges diverse human actions to fulfill His purpose so we can marvel in his mystery.
God’s rule is invincible, so it is incomprehensible. There is something about being completely out of control and totally dependent on God that brings all people to believe in Him. For people who have never prayed, they may find themselves praying, asking for forgiveness on an airplane.
Whatever the reason we choose to become closer to Him, I am thankful regardless of situation, that people choose to find Him. There is something about being stripped down to nothing and totally free of control that forces us to connect with Him. Always thankful for extended time here embracing His beauty and for safe traveling mercy.
God is above all things and before all things. He is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end. He is immortal, and He is present everywhere so that everyone can know Him (Revelation 21:6)