“God is my co-pilot.” Like many sayings, it’s one that always seemed to be there. A statement of hope and guidance. Until the moment you really pay attention. That’s when it becomes laughable. If I tell myself God is my co-pilot, at least I can feel like I have some sense of control. But, who said we were the Pilot?
A couple of weeks ago I took my first plane trip since I was 6 years old. After many decades and a different world, it counts as my first. Our pilot informed us that we were going to drive around to another runway only because the wind direction had changed by a few degrees. Being afraid of heights, I considered closing my window shade and concentrating on my books or music. But, curiosity got the best of me. I watched as the wings flexed and vented before take-off. I looked out as we soared far above the clouds. It was what I like to call Delightfully Terrifying. I loved every moment and plan on traveling more. In fact, if I had my way there will be travel writing in my future.
While we were above the clouds I thought about how much we put our trust into the hands of the pilots and staff every time we fly. Turbulence and turning were two things I could not completely get used to. There were times I could look at the shapes and colouring of clouds and prepare myself for the upcoming turbulence, but other times it was unexpected.
The flight home was just as delightful. Yet, being after dark it was a little more concerning. The wonderful older gentleman sitting in seat 4B talked me through some of the rougher turbulence, as he told me he had been traveling for 22 years and this was all normal. He talked to me about the view of Seattle and it was worth seeing the night-time view of the vibrant city.
It was on that flight home when I thought about how much flying is like living. We have no real control other than what we do in our own little section of the world. We trust that everything will turn out well and that the turbulence won’t last too long. Every once in a while, we end up with a seat mate who is a balance of good conversation and intelligent silence.
2016 has been another one of those years that has been a harsh lesson in learning to let go of expectations and how little control we really have. Many deaths and sad times have happened to many. Yet. in years to come we will hold onto the memories that were good about the year.
We look forward to 2017 with the same hope in our personal lives that we go forward with every year.For me, 2017 will be the year of “Semper et deinceps”: Always Forward!
What will your theme be?