Turbulence shook the airplane. At first everyone only laughed nervously. When the turbulence did not stop and the plane seemed to free fall for a full second, I immediately grasped my two armrests and could not let go. Up and down. Up and down the plane went. This is it. We’re going down. Today’s the day. These were the thoughts that flooded my mind without hesitation. What began as an exhilarating adventure quickly turned into a life threat.
These thoughts came to a halt, however, when the Chinese mother seated next to me reassured her family: “As long as the pilot is good, we good.”
As long as the pilot is good, we good.
These are such true and encouraging words for the heart that is rocking up and down and can’t seem to land firmly on solid ground. As long as the pilot is good…As long as the pilot is in control, there is nothing to be afraid of.
Travel is like turbulence with ups and downs. There are plenty of adventure moments. Moments to laugh and try new foods and watch the sunset and ride a bike through a Chinese garden and climb a mountain. There are plenty of moments to try to speak a word in a new language only to have the nationals laugh at your accent. There are many moments of newness and excitement. At first everything is like flashing neon lights beckoning you to come and see. Beckoning you to sit and stay for a while.
But at some point, the adventure fades, and you begin to see that all of these new and different faces have real lives. Real concerns. Real feelings. Real passions. Real dreams. Real fears.
I realized this when my new friend told me, “I not like orphanage because people don’t love me there.” People don’t love her there.
Friends, these are real feelings from real people. Because at the end of the day, travel is more than adventure. Travel is real life. People quickly become more than numbers, more than a population. They become real. They become just like me.
Life, just like travel, is not all ups. It is not all excitement. It is not even always adventure. But it is okay because the Pilot is good. Our Pilot is, oh, so good. No matter where you go in the world, he is always in control. He numbers the stars and counts the sand, and he is good. He rescues the orphan and causes the blind to see because he is good. He causes dead men to come back to life because he is good.
Turbulence will come. And sometimes fear and uncertainties of what’s going to happen when the plane lands, or even if the plane is going to land. This does not mean that the Pilot is sleeping or unaware. No, the Pilot knows what is going on. And he is good. And we can rest in that. The power and goodness of the Pilot is what allows me to have any sort of peace at all.
Our plane landed safely that day on solid ground. That was not an easy or even enjoyable plane ride. There were many moments of fear and doubt. But we landed. Because the pilot was good. We were in his hands all along.
For the heart that is rocking up and down, rest assured that the Pilot is good. No matter what. In all things. Despite the turbulence, despite the uncertainties, the Pilot is in control, and he is good.
As I look at my life, at my future, I have no idea. No idea what is going to happen. I don’t know what I’m going to learn or what I’m going to do wrong. I don’t know what I’m going to laugh at or what’s going to bring tears to my eyes. I don’t even know what I’m going to do half of the time. But it’s all under control because the Pilot is good. Oh, so good.