Safe Landing: Keep the Lights On

We are closing in on the day when we elect a leader for the next four years. The bitter rhetoric will hopefully come to an end. To say that it has been a tumultuous path to this day is an understatement. Once again we swing between the two extremes of thinking politics is everything and thinking politics is nothing. Somewhere in the middle lies the truth. Pontius Pilate and the Caesars thought they were in control. They were not. A rock cut with no man’s hand changed history.

Politics is the process by which we choose to be governed for a season. And yes, quite a bit can be at stake. But the heart of man, often bereft of wisdom, chooses for the now and ignores the long-term ramifications. That’s the peril. Isaiah 3:6 says that in the last days a man shall say to his brother, “You have a cloak, you be our leader; take charge of this heap of ruins!” Evidently in the last days, the Scriptures tell us, all it will take for a leader to be considered qualified to govern over a heap of ruins is to own a cloak. Seems quite ominously close to the present qualifications right now, to say nothing of the cloak and dagger type approaches in sway. It is hard to believe that in a nation with so much ability, so much potential and promise, we are reduced to this. It is a movie-like script, swinging between the Scylla of comedy and the Charybdis of tragedy.

But alas! Let us not lose heart. I always bank on the heartfelt prayers of God’s people. Ultimately, He will overrule and bring about what He deems we need the most for this hour. Whether it be in blessing or judgment, time will tell.

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I fly a lot and spend time thinking on the blessings and the risks of air travel. I heard of a flight instructor training a young pilot on what to do in an emergency to conserve power and glide to a safe position. “At the last moment, turn the lights on and if you like what you see, land.”

“What if I don’t like what I see?” asked the student pilot.

“Then turn the lights out,” said the instructor.

That’s the feeling we get right now, I’m afraid. Everyone I talk to has their fears whichever side they’re on. They want to turn the lights out.

But there’s another way to look at it, using the same analogy. I am told that when a pilot in his private plane runs into trouble, he has to live by the four Cs:

Keep calm Climb high Communicate with the controller Comply with the instructions

That’s the code I’m following. I am speaking my heart out to the Lord and am at peace that He will do His will. I will put my head down on the pillow that night and wake up with the promise that He is in charge. He can change the heart of a king. My life is in my Lord’s hands, however daunting the glimpse of what lies ahead.

Years ago, Senator Jeremiah Denton, a one-time Vietnam POW, wrote of the crucifixion of Jesus from Mary’s perspective as she watched in horror:

Her face shows grief but not despair,
Her head, though bowed, had faith to spare.
And even now she could suppose
His thorns would somehow yield a rose.
Her life with Him was full of signs
That God writes straight with crooked lines.
Dark clouds can hide the rising sun
And all seem lost, when all is won!

History moves in pendular swings. God’s clock is keeping perfect time. Let’s be calm, let’s climb high, let’s commune with the Lord, and comply with His instructions. None of us can accelerate the march of history but with His light on the terrain ahead, we can make a safe landing.

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