A couple of years ago, I compiled a list of random facts about myself. In that list mentioned that I had never flown. I can no longer say that. I recently flew to Denver (twice in a week, in fact).
I’ve always been a little apprehensive about flying. Heights don’t bother me at all. High rates of speed don’t bother me. The thought of plummeting toward the earth at several hundred miles an hour, however, bothers me. I know, I know, airplanes are safer than cars. I’ve never found that very comforting, though. I have a chance of walking away from a car wreck; I don’t have much chance of walking away from a plane crash.
Okay, now that you know how neurotic I can be, you’ll have a much greater appreciation for what I’m about to tell you.
20 or 30 minutes after we boarded my very first flight, the pilot made an announcement over the intercom. “We’ve been fighting some electrical gremlins this morning. We have a lot of computers on here and we need to restart them. I’m going to have to power down the plane, so you’ll be in the dark for a little while. We hope that’ll take care of the problem.”
I briefly panicked. Great. I’m on a plane with a defective computer. We’ll get three miles up in the air and the stinking gremlins will strike again. How are you going to restart the plane then, captain? We’re all going to die. Little did the unsuspecting lady sitting beside me with her baby know when she boarded this plane that no one would ever see them alive again.
Then, as suddenly as it departed, my sanity returned. Eventually we took off, and I loved every minute of the flight. The turbulence didn’t even bother me. I had a window seat and saw things I’ve never seen before. One of the most amazing sights was the surreal alien landscape formed by the top of the low lying clouds near Denver. It was like a vast, sprawling field of something resembling heads of cauliflower, with a variety of other formations dotting the landscape. Here and there were what looked like the ghostly hulls of sunken ships, jutting up through the field of cauliflower. Off in the distance were mountain ranges and a huge lake, composed entirely of clouds. It was beautiful.
I saw a lot of other things too. I saw as I have many other times that “the heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above ( and below!) proclaims his handiwork” (Psalm 19:1)
I also saw that my faith can still be very weak, in spite of my confidence in the goodness and sovereignty of God. I’m thankful that Christ sympathizes with us in our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15).
I may tell you in another post at another time about my second flight, and the terrific thunderstorm that diverted it.