Turbulent Times

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I remember when my boys were little and we would see planes taking off and landing at the airport- it was so thrilling. I would always point them out to my boys and they would get overjoyed to see a plane in the sky. If they saw one first they would yell out “ai-pane mama, ai-pane!”

It’s one thing looking at a plane from the ground and it’s a completely different thing being in the plane. Totally different views and experiences. On the ground, I have total control and I can choose where I go and what I do. I can hop in the car and I am the one in the “driver’s seat” of my life. However, it takes much longer to get to the destination… especially if I’m the one that’s controlling every turn and decision. I may get us lost, we have to stop for gas, I will probably get tired so we may need to stop to rest.  And let’s not forget all the restroom breaks because I will need to keep drinking caffeine to stay awake! All these things will make the trip even longer.   And that is why we consider flying.

Up in the air is the exact opposite. I have no control. I can’t see anything at all, I don’t know what’s happening. I have no clue how to fly a plane. I only know how to get in, load my luggage, sit down and buckle my seatbelt. I know that the flight attendants are there to offer me a cold water/coke and in the slight chance something were to go wrong, they are there to direct me to safety. I have chosen a destination and I know that is where I will land. I’m trusting the pilot to get me there safely.

I like the convenience of flying but I don’t necessarily like the experience of flying. I want to get there fast but I want control too. I know I can’t have both so when planning a trip, I have to determine which is the priority- getting there quickly or having control. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve determined that time trumps control.

Much like our natural lives, our spiritual lives are the same. We will get where we need to go quicker when we are willing to submit everything to God. We can’t question the pilot. We just have to trust He is going to get us to our destination. We don’t second guess the pilot’s route, we simply have faith that He is going to get us to where we need to go.

As I write this, I am actually on a flight right now. We have ascended and until this point, it has been a smooth flight. But we just started hitting turbulence and it’s the kind where your stomach drops and it’s not fun. I’m not into roller coasters so it’s definitely not a day at the amusement park for me. I take a peek out the little frame of glass and all I see is thick white haze. We are in the cotton ball clouds that look so cool from the ground but from an airplane window it’s simply a white dense fog. We just had quite the drop and now it’s bumpy. Still very turbulent. For some passengers this is nothing, they are frequent flyers and to them it’s just another day in the life. For me, this is a little scary. In my mind I’m thinking- “pilot do whatever you got to do to get us into smooth air, you got this- just hurry up and do it”. I continue to trust the pilot… I’m confident he knows what to do. I just want him to do it quickly.

I can feel the nose of the plane rise… we are now going to a higher level. In order to get out of the turbulence we are rising above it. I watch out the window as the dense white fog becomes thinner and thinner until it is no more. The ride is smooth as silk again. We are above the clouds and all I can see is the most beautiful sun/son (natural/spiritual) and I’ve become fascinated with the golden light that shines so brightly. No longer am I concerned about the bumpy ride below because I’m focused on what’s above.

How often in our lives do we allow ourselves to be rocked by the turbulent times and go into panic mode because all we feel is the affects of the whirling winds around us? We look outside the window of our lives and can’t see through the thick clouds and we freak out because we don’t have control of the plane ride we call life. Oh but our Pilot, our Heavenly Father, knows that the turbulence will force us to a higher place. He doesn’t make the turbulence happen, it’s just a part of the flight, however, the benefit to turbulence if you continue the flight (I’m assuming we’re not going to land a plane due to a little turbulence) is that you get to go to a higher level.

While I’m up this high I’m going to immerse myself in the splendor of the sun/son because there are days when I can barely see it, I will need this reminder that it’s there, hiding behind the clouds in it’s majestic glory. I’m going to take in the vastness of this view while I’m here- basking in this close presence…

I’m also going to appreciate those clouds that pushed me to go up higher. Because without them, I wouldn’t be at this high of an altitude. Without the turbulence from the clouds I would have just remained at the same level.  I would be satisfied with seeing a cool view of houses and city buildings.  Mediocrity would be ok. And God doesn’t want mediocre for us. He wants us to experience Him in His fullness.  He wants to take us to a place we can’t even imagine.  So I’ll take the turbulence because it got me this close to Heaven today.  What a view it is… Even those pesky clouds look like a work of art from up here.

Next time you hit a turbulent patch be encouraged, don’t panic–Trust the Pilot. He’s going to to take you to a higher level— Get ready to enjoy the view and the smooth ride while you are so close to the son, high above the clouds <3