Flight. Where does it take us? To the moon and back? A journey we may or may not wish to make? As I ponder this word, so many images come to mind. The flight of Moses and the Israelites out of Egypt. Their forty-year flight in the desert, which could have been so much shorter if they had obeyed God, who took them out of bondage. Like the Israelites, we, too, make mistakes on our personal flights.
We fail to listen to someone who may know better than we do about making the journey a more comfortable one, perhaps even bringing joy to everyone involved in the walk. We fail to see the pitfalls or the temptations in route. We whine if things don’t go our way, even though the fault might be ours for refusing to listen to those who have gone on ahead of us.
Then there is the flight Mary and Joseph made back to Egypt to keep their infant son safe from a murderous, jealous king who was not about to be dethroned. But this newborn king would want something more—the hearts of all people to turn to him in submission and love. I’m sure that many of us have fled from this all-out submission to Christ.
If you’ve read any of my posts, by now you know that I have a tremendous capacity to flee from bugs of any sort. I hate to admit this, but I have demonstrated the same capacity to flee from our Savior.
I thought that I could live my life any way I pleased, going from one temptation to another, prizing achievement and acclaim more than anything else. I ignored the basic beliefs of my faith and followed the idols of the world. I wanted to accumulate fame, riches and notoriety as stage actress.
I had many opportunities to follow that desire as different opportunities came my way—from an internship with Second City (thwarted by my fear to travel downtown by train during the sixties), to being offered my acting green card to perform in the Goodman’s children’s theater (the idea of touring and living in flea bag hotels held no appeal to me), to different opportunities to perform on stage in different venues. Each time, however, something came along that pulled me away from the starlight.
Personally, I thought it was my wonderful personality, good looks and charm that got me into other positions in the corporate world, and opportunities to perform in many Crusade of Mercy shows, singing, dancing, acting—even getting a small part in The Nutcracker ballet.
It wasn’t until years later that I realized God had been directing the flight of my life all along. God says to return to him. Our hearts must take flight back to our Lord and God. We should turn to him in prayer as King Hezekiah did in Scripture. Only Yahweh can turn our lives around as we trust him. As our souls fly back to him we are blessed with his steadfast love, his voice of hope and peace. Only then can we turn away from our idols, and take flight from pride, self-worship, greed and the grotesqueness of sin.
We cannot live or “take flight” in this world without first placing our complete faith in our Creator. Only then will our souls soar to the highest point, to a God who watches over us. When we take flight from God we lose, because we need him the most. I conclude with a quote from Pro Football Hall of Famer Tyrell Davis who said: “Know God’s hand is always on the small of your back, propelling and guiding you forward.” Then move ahead, with gratitude in a God who will make you soar with the gift he has blessed you with.