Are You Sure This is the Right Way?
I found out early in my life that I loved flying. My uncle had a Cessna single engine plane and he took me up on rare occasions when I would visit family in Knoxville, TN. Although I was very young on those first adventures of sailing into the wild blue yonder, I learned that flying was not as simple as taking off, and the pilot just pointing the plane in the direction of the desired “final destination” and fly there.
When I got to go flying, my uncle would strap me in (to keep me still and in the seat!) very quickly. He would tell me to be very quiet while he did some things that he had to do to prepare for us to go. He would set the various instruments and then double check to make sure everything was accurate. After getting clearance from the tower, we would taxi out to the end of the runway, wait for clearance to take off, and then the adventure would begin.
Once we were airborne, my uncle would relax a bit and talk to me. He would show me the sites on the ground and tell me what I was seeing. My curiosity became somewhat concerned when his hand was not always on the yoke and he was not constantly steering the plane. When I asked why he did that, he told me that he had set our course to fly toward a fixed radio beacon on the ground which was where we were planning to go. He just monitored our speed, altitude, and direction and as long as those were correct, he really did not have to do anything more until the time to land. Our course was fixed, accurate, and proven to work.
I was much older before I thought about that principle in walking with God. He has given us the “beacon’ to guide us (the Bible) which makes clear the path of righteousness we are to travel. He has given us His Holy Spirit within us to make the trip with us as He knows the way to our “final destination” in heaven. We sometimes need to correct our “contact” with our LORD because we have drifted from our course. If a person refuses to set the flight plan correctly based on God’s markers, then not only will he/she crash, but they will take others down with them.
A U.S. Air Force transport plane with its captain and 5 crew members was flying over Alaska in the mid-50s when they entered an unusually fierce snowstorm. The navigator contacted an air base only to be told that he had veered several hundred miles off course. Correct coordinates were given to the navigator, who continued to insist that his own calculations could not be that far off. Soon the plane ran low on fuel. The six men decided to abandon the plane and parachute to safety, but because of the -70-degree Fahrenheit temperature and winds that gusted to 50 mph, they were all frozen within minutes of hitting the ground.
A friend of mine was part of the rescue team that discovered and retrieved the bodies 3 days later. Because of the navigator’s pride, 5 other people went to their deaths. Proverbs 12:15 tells us that “the way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise.” The results may not always be so dramatic, but we must all be careful to seek the counsel of God and wise individuals before making decisions of lasting significance. (Dave McPherson).