An interesting flight experience led me to a lesson about control throughout life's challenges.
[Gary Petty] Many years ago, I had a friend who had use of a company airplane. And we flew one time, he and his wife, me and my wife, from Houston, Texas, to a small town in North East Texas. And we spent the day there. And then we took off and we're flying back to Houston. And we get off the runway and he says, "Hey, you wanna fly?" Okay. So, you know, he was in the pilot's seat, I'm in the copilot seat, and I take the wheel. He shows me all the things I'm supposed to do and he shows me how to read the instruments and look at the horizon. And so I'm, you know, sort of flying this plane but we get it, you know, where we're supposed to be, we're at a certain altitude, and we're supposed to stay at this altitude. And so, I fly this plane towards Houston, and it's fine for a couple of hours. And then the sun goes down and it gets dark. And all of a sudden, it's totally different. Flying a plane in the dark and you have to look and trust the instruments more. You're looking at all these lights. You know, when there aren't any lights, it's sort of hard to tell. I mean, I've read of pilots that don't know what they're doing and actually turn a plane upside down in the dark. So I'm trying to figure out how to fly in the dark. Then we come into the runway. And so he's telling me how to land the plane. He's giving me all these instructions. And I'm coming in to land this plane, and I'm looking at the lights. And I'm, you know, still trying to figure out the speed, airspeed, and flaps, and all this stuff, and I started to panic. I realized something. I could not land this plane. I did not have the know-how. I did not have the understanding. I had no ability to land the plane.
And suddenly, he took controls and brought the nose up, and brought it down, and landed it. And he looked at me and he said, "You know, if you were to continue doing what you were doing, you would have stalled out this plane and we would have crashed." Of course, he was gonna take control all along. He wasn't gonna let me actually land the plane. But I remember that panic. I found the other day my pilot logbook for quite three hours of flight time, in case I ever decide to go become a pilot. But it was an interesting experience.
We struggle all the time with trying to control our lives. We try to control other people. We try to control what's going on around us. And we all need some control, right? I mean, if we have no control, we don't get to make any decisions. We're just in a prison. But we have to figure out what we have control over and what we don't. And the truth is there are just a lot of things in life you don't have control over. You don't have control over sometimes whether you're gonna get the flu, or a cold, or some driver is gonna crash into you, or you're gonna lose your job. Sometimes you have little control over things. So we have to know what we have control over and what we don't.
When dealing with these big things of life, we have no control over, there's a Scripture that I go to. And you might think, "Well, this is sort of a strange Scripture on this subject," but listen to it. This is God speaking. He says, "Heaven is my throne and earth is my footstool. Where's the house that you will build me? Where's the place of my rest? For all those things my hand has made and all those things exist," says the Lord.
God says, "How could you impress me? I own everything. I made everything. Look at the wonder of the world around you." You know, sometimes we just need to look at the creation around us. Look at a baby. Look at the good in your life and realize God has given us all of this. And then He says this, "But on this one, when I look," God says, "on him, it was poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at my word."
Poor in a contrite spirit. This doesn't mean you have to live in poverty. What it means is, your spirit has to be... The core of who we are has to be humble before God. We have to realize something. We can't lead this plane. You and I can't control everything in our lives. We don't know how. And I remember that feeling that it just entered my mind. I can't do this. It's impossible. And, of course, the pilot simply took over. He knew what was going on in my mind. We're good friends. Sometimes God waits too. You're bringing in the plane and it's gonna crash, and you have to say, "I can't do this."
You know what? I can still remember the joy I felt, the relief I felt when I let go of the wheel, and the pilot took over, and just landed the plane like it was nothing. Well, I would have crashed.
You keep trying to control everything in your life and you're gonna crash over and over and over again. What we have to learn to do, there's times when you tell God, "I am here before you, I can't do this. I can't land it. I can't fix it. I give control to You, and let him lead the plane.
That's BT Daily. Join us next time.