I flew for the first time yesterday. I’ve flown as a passenger in commercial airplanes countless times, but this was my first time to fly as a pilot in the captain’s seat.
Skip Goss, president of Skill Aviation, graciously offered to take me up. (He was in my group at Exploring Christianity earlier this year, and we have some mutual friends who are learning to fly at his prestigious flight school.)
We started off in Waukegan going south along Lake Michigan, circled Trinity’s campus a few times, and then continued south along Lake Michigan. We circled various parts of downtown Chicago and flew next to the Sears Tower. Viewing Chicago aerially from such a low elevation was amazing. We stopped for lunch at the Schaumburg airport, and we circled over Trinity’s campus again on our way back to Waukegan. This time I called Jenni at our campus apartment from a cell phone, and we waved at each other! My favorite part was flying about 150 mph just above the surface of Lake Michigan and seeing the massive lake-front homes.
Skip is a master-teacher, and since he invited questions about aircraft and flying, I pelted him with questions. Among other things, I confirmed that spatial disorientation is a relatively rare condition but one that every pilot must be prepared for. I keep thinking about a penetrating analogy that Jon Bloom shared on the Desiring God blog in December 2007: “What I Learned in a Spiritual Storm.”
- Bloom explains that when a pilot experiences spatial disorientation in a storm, he must fly by the instruments. He must trust the instruments.
- When we experience spatial disorientation in a spiritual storm, we too must fly by the instruments (i.e., God’s word). We must trust the instruments. The right response to evil and suffering is to affirm what God says in the Bible—even if we can’t exhaustively explain every facet of it—and trust him.