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Strap yourself in. It’s time to fly!

September 9, 2014

  Revelation post 14. That was my last blog.

On 31 July. A whole month goes by. And well into September. Nothing.

Is it just a bad case of blogger’s block?

Not entirely that’s for sure.

Work.

Sermon preparation.

Family visits.

Holiday. Complete with a ban on social media interaction.

On the odd occasion I have tried to think of something to say, and drawn a blank.

Sometimes you wonder.

At Spring Harvest this year the main teacher Simon Ponsonby said he was tired of hearing preachers tell stories about aeroplanes. He wanted to hear people talk about Jesus.

But actually after my holidays I want to talk about planes.

Sorry Simon.

You see for me it is a big deal. I am 51 years old this year, and for various reasons I have not flown since I was 10!

So as the holiday got neater there was a fair bit of anticipation and no little anxiety about how I would cope.

See strange things have happened to me in the last few years. I cannot stand being a passenger in a car, particularly in the back. I get to feel quite sick.

When I was young I always hated being driven down steep hills. My stomach would roll over. It would turn upside down and inside out on the odd occasion I went on the back of a friend’s motorbike.

I have even developed a mini panic attack if I am on a bus and I know we’re coming up to a dip or a bump in the road. There’s little sense to it.

Suffice to say, I don’t do fairground rides.

On 16.8.14 my time had come. A 2 hour flight, that’s all.

Take that bus sensation and multiply it 100 times and that’s what I got.

My reflection now after the return flight, is that I quite like flying.

I don’t mind landing.

But what gets to me is the taking off. So much so that my family tell me I must get medical help before we fly again next year.

For that much is decided, we’re going again.

It was on the take off home that my wife and daughter thought I was having some kind of fit as I clung to the back of the seat in front and shook like crazy as I was taken up into the clouds.

But what strikes me is this. I went up because I wanted to. And I had a fantastic holiday. It was the only way if I wanted to go, I had to go by air. For all that sun, and relaxation, the laughter, the glorious scenery, I had to fly.

And I’m so glad I did. It’s probably am overused analogy, but in my own way I exercised faith and commitment.

I didn’t have any real doubts about the pilot, the vehicle or the technology. There was just something of the unknown for me. That sensation. It was literally a steep learning curve.

But for all my shaking, there was one thing I could not do.

Stop the plane and get out.

It was a done deal. Once I got on that plane, I was going. The doors were shut and I was belted in. As the plane accelerated down the runway that was it.

Stomach somersaults or not, I was going.

I am sure that many of us are like that in our relationship with God. Whether it is that initial leap of faith. Whether it is sensing that God is calling us to something new. A new opportunity. Something higher.

To experience all that God wants for us, we have to buy the ticket, get in and strap in. Maybe we are far from comfortable. But it is the only way.

Hopefully next year I’ll be better, but I’m not betting on it, but my mind is made up to do it again.

Apart from the scary bits, what else did I learn on my holIdays?

I visited a cathedral, a church, a monastery. I was struck by some of the comments my daughter and I made as we looked at some of the artwork. It wasn’t to our taste. Some of the depictions of the crucifixion were so unrealistic. We hated all these little cherubs flying around.

These were not our kind of churches but there was much beauty to admire, both natural and man made. But before one simple portrait of Jesus dying on a cross for me, I paused and offered a prayer full of theological depth:

“Thank YOU”

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From → Christianity, Family

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