I have to chuckle when I see a vehicle with “God is my co-pilot” on the front of it, as if God is only their “emergency-backup” as they go through this life. Would you, as you board an airplane, immediately go to the cockpit and tell the pilot “I’ll take it from here“? Would you, as you board a train, immediately go to the locomotive and tell the engineer “I’m here to take over this train“? Would you, as you board a cruise ship, immediately go to the wheel-house and tell the Captain “I’ll take it from here“? The reasonable answer to all three questions is a resounding “NO!”, so why do we trust ourselves to know what is best for our lives when we have never been this way before? Do we only need a “co-pilot” as an “emergency-backup“?
As a giant vessel approaches the harbor of a sea-port, a wise Captain will pause at the entrance of the harbor and wait for a harbor-pilot to come on-board. The harbor-pilot has safely guided thousands of vessels safely through this harbor and into port. He also knows these waters like the back of his hand. A wise and experienced harbor-pilot also knows when to bring tugboats along-side the vessel to safely maneuver the vessel into her berth. The tugboat pilots have jockeyed many such vessels safely into their berths, and they work together like a well-oiled machine, with each one knowing what to do and when to do it. Ship-captains, harbor-pilots and tugboat pilots aren’t just weekend pleasure-boaters. They have many years of experience and have been tested and certified to do their jobs. Why do we think that we can live our lives under our own guidance?
Trains have engineers for a reason. No machine or “computer-mind” can safely get a train along its route and into its station. An experienced engineer will have traveled these same tracks many times, and knows when to slow down for curves, how fast they can safely go through intersections, and when to slow down as they approach a station. Why do we think that we can live our lives under our own guidance?
As an airplane approaches its destination, even though the auto-pilot may have navigated it for most of its flight, the pilot takes over when it is time to descend and land. One of the pilots has also been at the controls during the flight – just in case. Landing a jumbo-jet takes finesse and skill, and an experienced pilot has done it hundreds of times. Why do we think that we can live our lives under our own guidance?
A story is told of a young girl who sat unconcerned, reading a book, during a very rough and bumpy airplane flight. Other passengers were hanging on to their seats, and some were even barfing their guts up during the flight. Yes, it had been that rough. When they got to the terminal, someone asked the young girl how she could have been so calm during the flight. Her answer will floor you, as it did me when I first read it. She said “My daddy is the pilot, and he is taking me home.” She knew that she was in good hands.
Long-time readers of this blog will realize that my life has been one train-wreck after another. Shattered-lives and broken-relationships litter the landscape of my life. Am I that stubborn? Am I that slow of a learner? I have had a “co-pilot” once in a while, but I haven’t relied on Him many of the times when I should have, and even as I wonder why my life has been such a mess, I know the answer, and it is because I have made the mess. I have been my own “pilot“.
This reminds me of a song that Carrie Underwood sang a few years ago, entitled “Jesus Take The Wheel“. A young lady had made a train-wreck of her life, and as disaster was about to strike, and as she stared death in the face, she cried out “Jesus take the wheel“, as she acknowledged that she had made a mess of her life. She knew that she was powerless, and that if something didn’t happen very quickly, both she and her baby were going to die. She admitted to herself and to God that she couldn’t live her life on her own, that she needed His help.
As we open our eyes every morning, we should be crying out to God, “Jesus take the wheel“, but how often do we really do that? Or, is God only our “co-pilot“? Only you can decide that for yourself, and as I am reminded that I need to rely on God EVERY day of my life, I pray that you will also let God be the PILOT of your life. I don’t need any more “train-wrecks“, and neither do you.
Who is YOUR pilot?