27 July 2013

Safe Landing

July 6, 2013: Asiana flight 214 made a crash-landing at the San Francisco airport. Two died and many were injured. Experts are investigating the cause, but it seems clear a connection with the pilots' failing to fully switch on the navigational landing controls may be at the heart of things.

It may look like I'm straying off-topic, but this morning my thoughts fell on an often pondered dilemma—why does wrong often look or feel so good and good seem sometimes so unexciting. It isn't always so and for some it isn't quite as strong a pull as for others. But why does the enemy seem so in favour of our having fun and being happy, and God seem so often against it?

My reading for this morning included this verse, which triggered all this:
The thief [Satan] comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. ~Jesus
Instead of the pitchforked, red, torturing creature of modern depiction, the enemy is described in the Bible as beautiful, an "angel of light," one of the greatest of angelic beings, but also one like a lion crouching to devour (us) his prey. So in summary, he can appear attractive but with your and my destruction as his aim.

(Authenticity test: the enemy has taken countless lives, but never once offered his own for you.)

James in his letter to the church wrote:
16Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
Using Proper Navigation
And what does this have to do with an airline crash? 

In flight, I imagine there are many times an inexperienced pilot must feel tempted to doubt his navigational equipment. When entering storms or dark clouds, uncertainty must creep in about the direction or altitude. Should you follow your own feelings and instincts or trust the controls? It is even possible, as with flight 214, to believe you are trusting the controls only to discover in a fiery crash that you never fully switched them on.

Landing the Plane
Doing what feels good or makes us happy is like ignoring the navigational system and choosing to fly on our instincts. The cost is greater than what affects you or me. The hurt jars many who depend on us. 

James knew how deceptive feelings are when he reminded his people not to be "deceived." Real and lasting good is from our Father, who does not change with modern ideas and fades. He truly desires what is for our best (that we may have "full" life), but we must trust His navigation of our way Home even when it doesn't feel right. Trusting anything else will lead to wounds, separation, destruction and loss.

Let's daily check who is in control.

1 comment:

  1. I love your analogy and your clear application! Deception leads to rationalization where "we first pity, then endure, then embrace." The "key" is found in Proverbs 3:5-6: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight" or as KJV version puts it: "He will direct your paths." Good post!