From Pilot to Passenger

September 19, 2014




I love to fly Delta. I’m always checking their site first but not because they have the best rates or service. I’m sure they’re great because I continue to use them, but honestly, I haven’t really noticed. I use Delta because nearly 40 years ago, my grandfather came to visit me (I’m sure he probably wanted to see the rest of my family, too) and he flew in on Delta.

We met him at the gate because back then you could and he gave me a small, white, plastic toy Delta plane. Grandpa Penny was a giant of a man. A retired police officer by the time I met him; he was kind and gentle and always wore a smile. I deeply loved him and think of him every time I fly. I kept that plane for years and I’ll never forget that visit.

I used to treat God like I do my airline. I had a connection with him but if something else came up, I didn’t have a problem being negligent. If he became inconvenient, I’d go elsewhere. If he desired too much out of me, I went in the opposite direction. I sought him when I needed that dose of religion. I went to him when I collided with life. We talked a lot, but I wasn’t listening.  I choose God, basically because my parents and grandparents did.

Kyle Idleman in his book, Not a Fan, talks about the time in a relationship when you have to DTR or define the relationship. Where do you really stand? Is this exclusive? Are you totally committed? It’s not an easy discussion because you have to be completely honest with yourself and with the one staring back at you and you always run the risk that the other person doesn’t feel the way you do but every relationship needs this moment.

God was good when I was a part time Christian. He always smiled on me. He held me when I asked. He ran to meet me every time but I never stayed long. I kept taking the wheel out of his hands and assuring him that I had everything under control and I would for awhile. I could manage on my own for a span but I always came limping back. Life is difficult anyway but split the running of your life with God and life becomes unbearable.

I finally took the time to sit down and define my relationship.  I was broken, worn and finally tired of wavering. I was exhausted from being in on Sundays and out on Mondays. I was done with doing church because my family did. No more pew warming. It was time to get serious. It was time to put it all on the line and make the decision that would influence every thought, action and reaction. It was time to stop pretending I could do this on my own.

Isn’t it time that you had a good sit down discussion with the one who knew your name when he created the world? Be advised, when you get serious about God some will think you’ve lost it. You might get called radical, liberal or a religious nut. People may tell you that you’ve gone off the deep end. When and if that time comes, just smile and love them because God will know that you’ve finally come home and that’s all that matters.

Let this be the day you resign from your position of piloting your own journey and realize that God is in control. Life is too short to do it alone. Go all in with God. He’s already committed to you.

(And somebody tell Delta I love them so maybe I’ll get discounts  🙂

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1 Comment Add your own

  •    Lipscombfan  |  October 1st, 2014 at 6:52 pm     Reply

    Paula, This is a wonderful memory of your GrandPa, and a great devotional. I identify with so many of your writings. I remember when I flew Delta as a child alone, I met the pilots, and the stewardesses gave me my gold flying wings and a small Delta bag. Delta connected The South with the world. My Dad flew so often, over so many miles, he was appointed a Delta Flying Colonel. My family always prayed him off at the gate, and welcomed him home again with thanksgivings to GOD. Considering the current wars, we no longer fly, yet even still we daily pray as Christ taught us—“Our Father…thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done…” GOOGLE: Darwall’s 148th, Ye Holy Angels Bright. A triumphant hymn that coordinates with your devotional. Many blessings and peace, from Kentucky.

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