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God's Got the Wheel - Part 1

Think back on those times when someone challenged you to do something difficult? How did you first respond to the challenge? One of my scarier challenges came on my birthday week. We don't celebrate birthdays in our family, but rather birthday weeks. My oldest brother, Rich, owned a flight school and two small planes. For my birthday present, he offered to give me a flying lesson. I wanted to be a grateful gift receiver, so I enthusiastically said yes. Finally the day came for my lesson, and I eagerly showed up to the small airport to get my instructions. The same brother who once grew up in the hippie era with long hair, bellbottoms, and playing Led Zeppelin albums at maximum decibels vibrating the upstairs floor, now met me by his airplane looking very professional and carrying the air of a qualified instructor. After a sweet birthday hug and greeting, Rich became very serious and said, “Please pay attention to all that I tell you to do. We don't mess around when flying an airplane or that could be the last thing we do on this earth.”

I was suddenly jolted from birthday bliss to the reality of the adventure to which I was about to embark. After Rich went around and checked several outside parts of the two-seater airplane, he opened the doors to the cockpit and told me to climb into the passenger seat. When the doors closed, I felt like a caterpillar wrapped in a cocoon. This was a far different feel than the multitude of jets I had flown in before. Rich had his instruction hat on and was in his zone with manual in hand going through the checklist to assure the plane was ready and safe. Finally we were ready, and Rich started the plane, called into the control tower to takeoff, and we began my birthday journey. Rich explained every step he was doing. Of course my brother was an extremely intelligent and detailed person, so somethings I got a little lost in the explanation. Though my tummy was a little queasy, it was thrilling to be up in a 6’ by 6' cabin, soaring above the farms and hills of the Lehigh Valley. “We are ready for the next step. You take the wheel Sue,” instructed by brother.

Like a bolt of lightning shooting through my body, I nervously shuttered, “That's okay, maybe we can just have a scenic ride instead of a flight lesson.”

“You will be fine. I control the wheel and I will be the one steering. I just want you to get the feel of the wheel.”

That sounded safe enough, so I put my hands on the wheel while Rich masterfully flew the plane. He instructed me how the plane turns, goes up and down, and changes speed. It was fun to feel the wheel as we glided through the air. I was fine until Rich said, “OK, ready? I will switch the control over to you, so you handle the wheel.”

“What? No! Are you crazy! I can't steer this plane.”

Panic ran through my veins.

But then my brother confidently said, “Don't worry Sue, I am with you.” My birthday adventure flashed back into my mind as I read the story of God calling Moses to ask Pharaoh to allow the Israelite people in Egypt to be given permission to go to the desert for three days to offer sacrifices. Moses’ response to God's calling was "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11).

The Lord’s immediate answer was “I will be with you” (Exodus 3:12).

Just as my brother was confident to let me take the wheel because he was still in control of the plane, when God calls us to serve Him in some way, He is still in control. He has the wheel! Though we are His hands, feet, and mouth, the Lord ultimately has the power to change hearts and circumstances and give us all that we need to accomplish His will...

Today's Bible Reading: Exodus 3

-Sue Corl

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