The Schweizer 2-33 glider is a beautiful piece of work. They are painted like ugly ducklings – bright yellow, with blue trim – so that they are very, very visible against the sky. I was an air cadet growing up and gliding was my first love. So, it’s truly magnificent in my eyes!
I spent a couple of summers teaching young cadets to glide. There really isn’t a lot to these gliders. Fabric-covered metal frames, very simple controls. The glider is inherently stable. But in the eyes of a 16-year-old cadet, the Schweizer 2-33 might as well be Top Gun.
Most kids will overcontrol. They white knuckle the stick and slam on the rudders. The glider skids and pitches and rolls – all the while losing altitude. They try to force the plane to do what they want, go where they want, respond how they want. As an instructor, you sit directly behind the student with your hands on their shoulders to remind them that they are, in fact, flying. You remind them of what they know and gently guide them to a safe landing. You resist taking control unless it’s an absolute emergency. You talk them through a safe landing, step by step.
Today’s passage is from Isaiah. “Throughout this section, God’s action of returning the Israelites to Jerusalem is understood as an act of creation. [Here is] the same power [that was] used to make the heavens and the earth… the creative power of their God [that] opened for them a way where before there had been no way.” (Kristen Wendland)
There are always things we are trusting God for. It can be easy to try to stickhandle our way to get something done. Today’s passage is an invitation to acknowledge the challenges and realities around us, and to relinquish control to a God who is capable of so much more than we can imagine.
Imagine yourself flying solo after a few gliding lessons. You’re sloppy in your turns, erratic in your airspeed. But, on your next flight, your instructor hops in and all of a sudden you’re flying smoothly. Your instructor doesn’t say a thing, but His being there helped. You feel at ease and His presence gives you this peaceful assurance. Imagine the Holy Spirit as your instructor and guide, riding behind you, His hands on your shoulders.
Be reminded of the God who does not grow weary or tired, who is with us always, and who’s heart is for us. And that those who trust in the Lord will rise up on wings like eagles.
“Moving forward with joy into a newly created future that one cannot yet imagine may require strength beyond what humans hold within themselves.” (Kristen Wendland)
Lord, thank you because we can put our trust in you. You don't ask us to take control, you ask us to obey. You are always guiding us to follow your will. Help me, today, to pay attention to your direction in my life. I want to be free to follow you. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Consider this: What are you trying to control right now? Is there something you’re trying to white-knuckle to where you think something needs to be? Maybe you need to ask the Holy Spirit to help you lighten up on the controls
Photo Credit: Central Alabama Soaring Association