On Saturday afternoon we returned home from a wonderful week in Orlando. Make a Wish sent us to bask in the Florida sun and enjoy the Disney World experience. We flew Delta Airlines, the inaugural flight for us all. As I settled into my seat, and fastened the belt, I read the following words on the seat in front of me: “Seat cushion can be used as a flotation device.” That’s a bit unsettling. I contemplated how a flotation device worked if the airplane suffered engine failure over thousands of acres of open pastureland. I guess you pray the pilot aims for a pond…or a large water tank…
As the plane taxied down the runway and nosed into the sky, I was amazed at how quickly the aircraft distanced itself from the ground. Within a few minutes we soared above white Cirrus clouds, cottony pillows floating lazily below. After only an hour flight, the Captain announced our approach into Memphis airport. We touched down, grabbed our carry-on luggage, four children, and hustled into the terminal for a brief layover. Then we boarded the next plane and strapped in for a two-hour flight to Orlando. On this jaunt we experienced our first turbulence, one in particular giving the aircraft a substantial jolt. This up and down bobbing took my breath. In fact, I overheard several passengers around me gasp…except one. My three-year old daughter. She giggled. Her laughter triggered chuckles from other travelers seated nearby.
Later, I considered her response. How could she giggle while others gasped? Then the realization struck. She trusted her parents. The pilot was a stranger. The stewardesses ignored the turbulence, busying themselves pushing a refreshments cart down the aisle. My daughter knew nothing about the airworthiness of the Delta “bird.” But even as a toddler, there’s something she did know. She knew that mommy and daddy wouldn’t intentionally hurt her or thrust her into a place of danger, so her young brain surmised that the vertical bouncing in the sky was a game…nothing to worry about…much like riding a coin operated horse at Wal-Mart…on steroids.
Even though the plane bucked and bumped for a few seconds, our little girl giggled, and with a twinkle in her eye, she swung her legs happily, hoping for the bounce to happen again. Quite simply, her peace outweighed the majority’s propensity for fear. Her snickering sparked a spiritual truth. It reminded me of Jesus’ nap during a raging storm at sea. While the disciples frantically strained at the oars and bailed water, the Son of God lay curled on a cushion. That’s the kind of faith God desires for His children to exhibit. Peace in the storm. Tranquility in trouble. Calm in crisis. How are these reactions possible? Knowing that God holds His kids in the palm of His hands….even on a jouncing, jumping flight at 32,000 feet.
Psalm 139:7-8, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there…”
With that encouraging word, “Keep Climbing.”