October 2017  
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Chappy’s corner “Up in the Air?”

Ole and Swen were on an airplane headed from Minneapolis to Miami. The airplane had four jet engines, but shortly after the plane had taken off one of the engines failed. The pilot announced to the passengers, “One of our engines failed which means our flight time will take an hour longer.”  In a few minutes, another engine failed and the pilot announced, “A second engine failed which means our flight will take two hours longer.” Only a few minutes later the pilot announced again, “A third engine has failed which means we have only one engine so our flight time will take much longer.”  At that point Swen told Ole, “If we lose that last engine, we could be stuck up here for a long time!”

 

I know how Swen felt. Last Monday my plane took off at 6 am, landed in Chicago an hour later, then I sat for three hours waiting for a flight to DC, and then was told my flight was canceled, so I had to call for another flight that took me to Nashville, and there I waited three hours for the flight to DC.   It felt like I would never get where I was going.  But after fifteen hours of waiting in airports and sitting on planes I arrived in DC.

 

Flying today requires one to have patience for all the waiting but also to have trust.  Once I was up in the air I had no power over my future.  I was in the hands of the airline pilot and staff.  But even the pilot didn’t’ have complete control over our flight. An engine fails, a flock of birds gets caught in the engine, or some other event could have resulted in disaster.  But it didn’t.  Like my previous times in the air, I arrived safely.  And for that I thank not only the pilot and the airlines, but most of all I thank God.

 

The truth is my flight, my travel, and my life is all in God’s hands.  As a Christian I believe those are the same hands that were stretched out on a cross to rescue me from sin and to give me everlasting life.  Those are wonderful loving hands and in my humble opinion having my life in those hands is the safest and best place to be whether I’m waiting in line at the grocery store or 30,000 feet up in the air.

 

That’s just my thoughts from this SE corner of South Dakota!

 

CH (LTC) David Gunderson

JFHQ Chaplain SDARNG