Unfriendly Skies

Good morning and good blessings to you,

Getting Close to God

Flying back from Chicago into Wichita isn’t usually much of an adventure, what with our friendly skies, being free to move about the country and what have you. Typically it’s pretty mundane and mundane is a very fine thing at four hundred miles an hour and a few miles above the ground. Mundane suits me just fine, thank you very much, and I’ve managed to turn it into an art form. Ask most of the people who know me what they think of when they hear the word and they’ll probably tell you they think of me.

My own long history of mediocrity aside, my most recent ride into Wichita was anything but mundane.

There had been a few bumps and thumps and caterwaul humps along the way—that’s almost a given when you’re flying about the Midwest during spring storm season. Rather hard to avoid a bit of turbulence out this way, especially during or immediately after an election year. Just part of flying. Most seasoned air travelers don’t pay much attention or think too much about a few little bumps now and again. As long as we get our complimentary drinks and snacks, we just sit back and take it all in stride.

This ride from two weeks ago today didn’t quite fit that category.

As we angled down on our final approach, we hit the mother lode of turbulence. That eighty-passenger plane lurched and lunged, bucked and swung, and tried to unseat every single one of us. Up, over, sideways and down. I don’t know how it’s possible for a large object to move in that many directions at once and not fall apart.

The wisdom of seat belts worn low across the hips and snugly fastened was immediately apparent. People gripped the back of seats, braced their hands against the overhead, grabbed the armrests or whoever’s arm had been resting on them. Outside the window, I could see the ground and hoped it was nowhere nearly as close to us as it seemed. “Shake, Rattle and Roll” started playing in my brain like an old Wurlitzer in a small diner. “Nearer My God to Thee” took over soon afterwards.

After a minute that seemed like an hour, the pilot shoved the throttle forward and pulled back on whatever pilots pull back on to lift the nose. We moved up, up and away from whatever it was going on in that particular piece of the skies so friendly and so vigorously shaking hands with us.

Twenty minutes later, we tilted back down toward the ground and made it there in the intended manner without any drama other than what was playing in our imaginations. Fourscore or so people had suddenly made dramatic progress in their prayer lives.

There are, I suppose, a variety of ways of getting close to God. For speed and efficiency, I’d say it’s hard to beat the sudden awareness that a face-to-face meeting might be rather close at hand.

H. Arnett

About Doc Arnett

Native of southwestern Kentucky currently living in Ark City, Kansas, with my wife of twenty-nine years, Randa. We have, between us, eight children and twenty-eight grandkids. We enjoy singing, worship, remodeling and travel.
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