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Seat of the Trousers

 

I flew the small way this week — 8 seater. Not bad, a beautiful day, winds were at a minimum. Three seats actually carried travelers — two others and me. A pilot and co-pilot manned the front seats.

We flew not by the “seat of our pants,” but for me it was an adventure.

The term (flying by the seat…) emerged in the 1930s and was first widely used in reports of Douglas Corrigan’s flight from the USA to Ireland in 1938.

“Douglas Corrigan was described as an aviator ‘who flies by the seat of his pants.”  “The old flying expression of ‘flies by the seat of his trousers’ was explained by Larry Conner — means going aloft without instruments, radio or other such luxuries.”  phrases.org.

The phrase conjures up a ton of metaphorical pictures for believers.

We believers must go many times without connective guides — gauges for equilibrium, location maps, pressure gauges from without and within. We go onto bridges without railings, walkways with no sides,  narrow passages with loose footing.

The above described “experiences of the Christian life,” build us into fearless faith-participants, learning to keep at rest mentally and spiritually in the “blind” adventures.

Thayer’s Dictionary defines this rest as:

“…the heavenly blessedness in which God dwells, and of which he has promised to make persevering believers in Christ partakers after the toils and trials of life on earth are ended.”

Future rest remains, but, we must learn, right now, this trusting state of abiding-rest while in the middle of fluctuating, unabiding, unrestful and trying circumstances. It produces something different in us.

“On a November night in Paris in 1908, Wilbur Wright (first airplane flyer) addressed a group of French aviation enthusiasts gathered to honor him and his brother, Orville, saying that this honor was really a tribute to “an idea that has always impassioned mankind.” With these words, Wilbur Wright recognized what might be called the universal aspiration to fly. This desire to elevate oneself above one’s environment—to conquer the ocean of air—can be seen as a perennial struggle evident in nearly every civilization from classical times to the early twentieth century. As Wilbur spoke that night in his typically understated style, he seemed to suggest that, instead of achieving this age-old dream of mankind, he and Orville had been merely participants in an ancient and ongoing human struggle.  dreamofflight

 

Interesting thought to say the least. Yes we aspire to fly! And God wants it too.

So, flying by the seat of our trousers, we dare fate, lean heavily on God’s everlasting arms, find liberty and a bit of heaven right here, wherever that be. We seek the abundant life which Christ promised. At first we have some natural guides and gauges, and then “spiritual” ones only. God’s Word and Spirit lead our way.

Lastly, ” … NASA asked the astronauts on Apollo 11 not to engage in any religious activities that could offend, insult or isolate the rest of the world. However, Buzz Aldrin felt the opportunity was too great to let pass by. Therefore once Armstrong and Aldrin had landed safely on the Moon and were waiting to take their first steps, Aldrin radioed back to Earth asking anyone who was listening to reflect on that moment in history. Aldrin gave thanks for the opportunity and produced a small flask of wine and a piece of bread which he then consumed whilst reading from the Gospel of John. From that moment Buzz Aldrin then became the first and so far the only person to participate in the Christian ritual of Communion on the Moon.” strange-facts-you-didnt-know-about-the-first-moon-landing

Friends, flying-small today caused awe, a God sense. I spontaneously worshiped, as did Buzz Aldrin.

As we forsake fear and embrace our desire to fly, we also may sense the Eternal. It’s Him, enjoy. love ya

Tom Sliva

Tom Sliva

Born in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, Pastor Sliva went to Bible college in Massachusetts at the Stevens School of the Bible in !982. He and his family moved to Baltimore in1987 to be a part of Greater Grace World Outreach. From there, he served in Prescott, Arizona, and Indianapolis, Ind. Ordained upon his return to Baltimore in 1995, Pastor Sliva was afflicted with brain cysts in the late 90's and stayed at home base until his recovery in 2002. He then assisted with ministries in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh before resettling in Baltimore due to his son's sudden illness and death. Pastor Sliva is a colon cancer survivor. He has been part of the Pastoral Care Team since 2008 and leads the Grief Share group at Greater Grace Church. Read more from Pastor Sliva on his blog Healing at the Cross.
Tom Sliva

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Comment(1)

  1. Reply
    Marge Swingle says

    Such a well-written devotional. Thank you for your insights, Pastor Tom. As we navigate through life, it is true that we have special instruments given by God , such as the indwelling and leading of the Holy Spirit, the full armor of God, the precious Word of Truth, and the guidance from the pulpit. God is my co-pilot, as the saying goes. He leads us around planet earth and bumps us into people on our amazing journey of life.

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