Last week, just before I left for New York, my main squeeze and I had a talk about our family’s financial future and about how our boys were going to be provided for. I left that conversation nervous, tentative, unsure … fearful.
And while I like to think that I’ve left my life in God’s hands … that I trust Him implicitly with my/our future … conversations like the one we’d just had made it very, very clear just how far I’ve to go.
Miles … and miles … and miles.
Which was funny, seeing as how the cosmic prankster Himself was 24 hours from sending me a couple of thousand miles round trip in a big metal tube that I’d have to trust He wouldn’t let plummet 35,000 feet to earth.
So, as I sat on the plane, somewhere over Virginia in all likelihood, I thought about how my life was exactly like that plane ride. About how all I ever seem to concentrate on are the bumps. I waste the smoother portions of my journey, just waiting for the turbulence.
And, inevitably, it’ll come. And when it does, every bump is the end.
“We’re goin’ down!”
“Any second now, an enormous gust of wind is going to come along and blow us sideways, into a tailspin from which the pilot won’t be able to recover! Jack will remember me … he’s seven. I remember lots of things from when I was seven … but what about Charlie? He’s only three! I don’t remember being three! He won’t even remember me … it’ll be as though I never existed to him!”
“This flying tin can is but a toy in the mighty hands of mother nature! And, by the way … how can something that weights 735,000 pounds just float 35,000 feet off the ground? “
“What if one of those engines dies?”
BUMP, WEIRD SOUND, BUMP
“What if a huge flock of wayward turkey buzzards flies into our path and is sucked into the engine? I wonder if the pilot could land the plane with only one engine?”
“What if that shifty looking fellow in 6B is a terrorist? I mean, that bag of his looks suspicious and I just know that at any moment, he’s going to spring from his seat, mow down everyone in first class and fly the plane directly into Giants Stadium.”
BUMP BUMP BUMP BUMP
“I wonder, if I type a message to Tracey and the boys into my phone, whether they’ll get it? I mean, assuming the phone survives the crash and ensuing jet fuel fire? Maybe I can try to send it and we’ll fall through a signal on our way to the ground and somehow it’ll be transmitted and they’ll get it just before impact? Oh, wait … Tracey doesn’t have text messaging. Well, crap.”
“Wait a second. We’re not bouncing anymore … Things have smoothed back out … “
Why do I (we?) DO this? Where is my confidence? My faith? My trust?
Despite the fact that that pilot knows exactly what he’s doing and where we’re going and what we’re about to fly through and how we’ll get through it and when we’ll arrive at our destination, my confidence is shaken – instantly – the first time I feel that plane shake.
Even more maddening? I pray a little prayer every time we bounce. You’ve done this, haven’t you?
“God, I trust you. I trust that you’ll either deliver me home safely to Murfreesboro or that you’ll deliver me safely home to you. And you know what? Either way is fine with me, Lord. Really. If that’s your plan, I’m ok with it. I just thank you for the life you gave me and ask that you will provide a good man to help raise the boys and take care of Tracey when I’m gone … and … and …. if this plane crashing and me dying is the worst thing that can happen, then hallelujah! I get to come home and rest forever in … etc., etc., etc.”
“Oh my God! We’re goin’ down! We’re out of control!”
SMOOTHING BACK OUT
(long sigh … followed by self-loathing … followed by repeat of aforementioned prayer … followed by steely resolve and determination to test myself and the level of trust in my heart and not panic in the least the next time we experience turbulence)
“I’ll prove it to you Lord. Next time this plane bounces? I won’t worry a bit. I promise. You watch.”
I mean …. could there BE a more perfect analogy for my life?