Recently I flew from San Fransisco airport, over the Golden Gate Bridge and the old prison of Alcatraz and, after 20 minutes, returned to the airport. If I said that I never left the ground, you would understand that I was flying a simulator. My family indulge me from time to time, with birthday and Christmas presents that are air related. Consequently, I have found myself in a helicopter over London, a microlight over the Thames estuary, in the open cockpit of a Tiger Moth and a memorable flight in a glider, having been air-towed to 2000 feet over the South Downs. The only thing I've never done is a balloon flight, which doesn't really appeal to me - too slow.
I love the whole experience of flying and, to add to the aforementioned experiences, I have also found myself on the flight deck of a RAF VC10, watching 12 jets refuelling: It was like watching an aerial ballet. I also had the privilege of flying in the cockpit of a 737 twice, to Dublin and the following week flying down to Pisa. I particularly remember the sight of the full moon on the Alps. Add to this my various excursions into Vulcan, Hercules, Shackelton and Buccaneer cockpits and you can see I am a real air 'saddo'. Which brings me to the point of this blog.
Apparently, it is possible to learn to fly by correspondence course. However, the story is told of one company involved in this who sent out, stage by stage, the course manuals. But they failed to send the final manual entitled: 'How to Land Your Plane'. Just think of the consequences! I used that story as part of the programme notes for a musical called 'Heaven'which we presented some 11 years ago. I based the musical on an airport where there were only two destinations, Heaven and Hell. There were no incoming flights!
Recently I listened to a tremendously inspiring sermon by my preacher hero, Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones, entitled 'How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?' So how many people are there out there flying the plane of their life, unable to land? I hope I haven't stretched the metaphor too far.
We are looking forward to preaching the Gospel again this Spring, through the 'Yeshua Messiah!' musical, telling people the right place to land!