I am a scared flyer. When I was flying back to Las Cruces from Georgia after Christmas break last year, I remember thinking how the lights of Atlanta looked so small from the airplane, like piles of coiled-up gold necklaces. The desert mountains looked like tiny bumps on a topographic map.
I used to be so terrified on an airplane that I couldn’t concentrate on anything but the thought of crashing. I would spend the entire flight hunched over, praying, my hands sweating as I grasped the arm rests. Flying is when I feel the least in control of what could happen to me. Sometimes as I’m fastening my seatbelt, I still imagine the plane crash scene from Final Destination. I take a deep breath and say a quick prayer as the plane lifts off from the ground. Having these moments of reflection isn’t necessarily a bad thing; they can be a reminder of how fragile we actually are. But too much reflection on the unpredictable can be destructive, preventing us from living our lives to the fullest. I know people who let the fear of flying keep them from traveling. Their fear stops them from experiencing some of the beauty of life.
Whenever I picture catastrophic events like plane crashes or earthquakes, I always hope that I will be the one to find a way out; that I will find a way to take control of the situation. But the truth is control in this world is an illusion. Planes can crash, jobs can disappear, houses can crumble, whole cities can be destroyed. The only thing that we have control over on this unpredictable planet is how we respond to our lack of control.
Jesus taught that worrying is futile; if we trust in God’s great wisdom, we don’t have to be afraid of the unstable circumstances of life. Life is about much more than eating, drinking, or shopping. It is about making a connection with our Creator, and looking forward to the day when we can join Him in paradise.
New King James Version (NKJV)
25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
New King James Version (NKJV)
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
After years of flying, I got used to the turbulence and the random beeps. I realized that worrying about whether or not the plane would crash wouldn’t change the flight’s outcome. Only God could determine the destination I would arrive at. Now when I sit down on an airplane, I say a quick prayer, pull out a book, and try to enjoy the flight.
What are you worried about today that you ultimately can’t control? How can you let go of that worry and better invest that energy?
This post was written by Emily Haymans.