Each time we go up there was a predetermined reason for our adventure, even if it was to fly to some small town just to partake in their local hole-in-the-wall eating establishment. Mark needed the hours behind the stick and I loved the view and greasy cuisine. It made for a perfect way to spend an early Saturday morning.
On this Saturday, we declared Stillwater, Ok our destination. We would take my oldest son, Tyler, to lunch at Eskimo Joe's and catch up on how school was going. The day was what some pilot's refer to as "severe clear" flying conditions. Light wind, cool morning, and clear blue sky, you could see 100 miles in every direction at 4000 ft, it was a perfect day to fly.
Once we were in the air Mark informs me over our headsets that I would be taking over the stick and flying the plane in just a moment. It was a simple yet terrifying task. "Hold our course based on the set heading and do not push forward or pull back on the stick." Simple enough!
At one point I was so caught up in the sights I had taken my eye off the compass and had drifted off course. Not by much but enough that it got the attention of the captain. In my defense, I informed him I was still heading North and we were not lost.
Even though we were only off course by a few degrees, over the course of the flight it would have meant a missed lunch not to mention a missed city. Life can be much like our plane ride that day. Even the most perfect days often need course corrections from time to time to ensure we will make our destination.
When I consider the difference maker's in my life it is easy to spot some common traits. The first and most powerful trait they each manifest is a life filled with purpose guided by a True compass.
I have also experienced the true potential of my life when individuals are willing to give "course correcting" feedback to keep me on destination.
Equally important, I must have a compass grounded in Truth. A compass with a pointing needle that just spins based on any prevailing view will get you one thing...lost! Those around me giving course correcting insight should have a proper working compass also.
Each of us, throughout our lives, have drifted off course. It is not a matter of "if" just "when". Notice what happens, the drift is so subtle that we don't notice until the day we fail to make our destination. Then we repeat the famous line each and everyone reading this blog has said at some point in their life, "how did that happen?"
Here are three simple lessons from the air:
- A life lived with purpose is one with direction and destination. Fulfillment is found here.
- We all need a compass and co-pilot to guide and course correct us. Chose both with Wisdom.
- If we take our eyes off the compass we can drift off course. It's gradual at first then all of a sudden.
I find myself needing to be reminded of these simple lessons often. Consider these lessons from the air as my gift to you. Re-gifting would be appropriate in this case.