Like a city breached, without walls, is one who lacks self-control. (Proverbs 25:28 NRSV)
Jamie Buckingham tells about a pilot in Ecuador who was involved in a plane crash because of a passenger's fear. The wheels of the heavily loaded Cessna 206 had barely left the wet jungle airstrip when the passenger, sitting in the co-pilot's seat, panicked. The pilot had the throttle pushed all the way forward to the firewall. He had done this many times.

The passenger looked up, all he could see were the on-rushing trees filling the windshield. Why doesn't the pilot pull back on the controls? He grabbed the wheel and pulled back. That was the worst thing he could have done. A plane needs to build up airspeed before you point the nose skyward. Otherwise, the plane will stall.

The plane did stall. It pitched up, lost critical airspeed and began to settle toward the jungle below. The pilot wrenched the controls back and tried desperately to get the nose down. But it was too late. As the airplane reached stalling speed, the heavy engine pulled the nose over sharply, and the craft spun to earth. By God's grace, no one was killed, but all were injured because of a passenger's lack of trust in his pilot.

How like that frightened passenger some of us are. We are continually grabbing the controls from God.


God of hope, help me to let go of the controls. Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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