Today was a good day. I was blessed to help capture memories for a friend’s baby shower, went to church with the Mrs., and had heated up steak for dinner (winning!). But, for some reason, this photo I took several years ago of an airport runway down the road kept coming back to mind.
It’s not that the photo was one that we’d hang on our mantle or that it was of some special event. Yet, it spoke to me at the time and still today.
I don’t know about you but, what I feel when I look at that runway, I think opportunity. All arrows are pointing forward, yet, you can’t see over the horizon. It’s as though it’s saying, ‘go for it even if you don’t know the future’. It’s saying, the sky’s the limit and it’s clear sailing ahead.
The only thing missing, though, is the voice of the air traffic controller saying to take off, and that’s no small thing, because if one were to take off without clearance, they could crash into another plane or cause them to crash.
Sometimes, when all signs are pointing forward, it still may not be the time to move. We need to wait for the true traffic controller to give us the go-ahead. There may be turbulence we don’t know about, another plane over the horizon coming in for a landing, or a change in the flight plan we hadn’t expected.
During my first year of seminary, I worked as a full-time Youth Pastor in a great little Methodist church in West Tulsa. I have many cherished memories of that time (some I’ll share down the road). It was at the end of my first year after a long day, when I was sitting out in the field behind the church praying, that I heard the Lord speak to my heart, ‘I’m calling you to California’. I knew immediately that was His voice and what I needed to do. Sure enough, He opened a door for a Youth Pastor position and I was off.
My flight plan had changed when all signs had been pointing straight toward becoming a Naval Chaplain. Even though California was very challenging and left me with some heart breaks, I don’t regret that decision for a minute. I have two beautiful girls and three beautiful grandkids because of it and they make it all worth it.
There were other times when it looked like all the signs were pointing forward, but I didn’t wait for the heavenly traffic controller to give the ok and found myself flat on my face. Those were the times I learned about His grace and forgiveness.
Today, I don’t have a bunch of signs pointing me in any new direction, but you may have. If everything seems right about a decision you’re needing to make, the One who knows all things has perfect timing and can give you the clearance for take-off. He can, and will, guide you through those signs at just the right time if you ask.
Sometimes it takes a little faith when He says go. Not being able to see over that horizon having to trust that He’s guiding us safely and will protect us, takes faith, humility, and courage. He can give all those when we ask as well.
Be encouraged my friend that He has good plans for you. He knows just the right timing. Even if things seem perfect, taking a pause to be sure we get His clearance, can make the difference between success and failure. Even if we go anyway and fail, He will be there to pick us up, brush us off, and give us a new start because He has promised to never leave us or forsake us.
So, today, here’s to clear sailing ahead!...