Yesterday I flew into London from Atlanta. We arrived on time but the pilot explained that we were in a holding pattern and would land momentarily. Sitting by a window I looked out and saw below us another plane. I looked up and there was a plane flying there, too. I looked straight out the window and a smaller plane was going by. Wow! Wow, was all I could think. I was mesmerized by the thought of several planes in such close proximity, flying around at the same time.
In moments we landed and began the slow drive towards the terminal. We came to a stop and the pilot explained we had to wait before crossing the runway in front of us as it was “active” just now. Again I looked out my window. A colossal plane came roaring down the runway. About 100 feet away it’s massive nose lifted off the ground, taking the bulk of metal body with it, higher and higher, and out of sight. Then another, and another, took off in rapid succession. Fascinating.
Then the runway seemed clear so I thought we’ll be moving soon, but we remained stationary. I looked out the window to see a plane, not taking off, but landing. It just appeared suddenly through the clouds and touched down. It rolled to a near stop and then began to turn left. When this happened, our plane started to move slowly forward. We crossed the runway and made it to our gate where a large, square , metal gangway, like a giant’s arm, swung out and attached itself to our plane. The door was then opened and soon enough we all filed out.
I kept thinking about all those planes in the sky — some in a holding pattern, some landing, others taking off, still others waiting on the runway for their turn to go to the terminal. I greatly admire the skill of the Air Traffic Controller. It’s one of the most stressful jobs in the world. With precision they direct several aircraft all at once, and all for one purpose — to get it safely to it’s destination. I emphasize the word safely. The Traffic Controller knows what type of aircraft is flying, knows what size, how many people its holds, how long the runway must be for it to takeoff or land, and where several planes are at the same time. Amazing!
It’s also amazing with our Father God. At every moment of every day He is looking at the lives of millions of His children. He knows where they are headed, He knows the flight plan for their lives. He knows when, for safety sake, to keep a child of His in a holding pattern or waiting on the runway. He knows when it’s safe to move again to get to the proper destination. We can try to maneuver ourselves but, oh! that can be dangerous! We may surely crash. Best always, to let Father be our Traffic Controller. After all, He sees all the other planes at the same time. You and I are just sitting in the seat and looking out the window.
“Oh Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; you understand my thoughts afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold Oh Lord, You know it altogether. You have hedged me behind and before, and lay Your hand upon me.” Psalm 139:1-5