The pilot’s voice rang out over the intercom: “We are making our final approach to St. Louis International Airport. Cabin attendants, please prepare the cabin for landing.” As a frequent flyer, I had often heard those words. I knew the drill. I began to close down my laptop and secure all my belongings under the seat in front of me. My seat and tray table needed to be returned to their upright and locked positions. I busied myself following all the protocol. After a few moments, I settled down to look out the window for some familiar landmarks of home.
As I peered out the window next to my seat, I observed that we had entered into a cloudbank. The sunlight was dulled because of the dense fog-like haze through which the rays were attempting to penetrate. This whitish-gray mist was so opaque that I could barely see the wing just behind my seat. The whole scene was eerie. I entertained myself for a bit with thoughts from sci-fi movies. Music from the Twilight Zone danced through my head. For a short time span, I reverted to childhood days of imagination and role play. I was absorbed in inner thoughts when the voice of the stewardess broke the internal monologue and called me back to reality.
She was passing throughout the cabin to collect any last remaining items to be discarded. That completed, I returned to my window gazing. The scene had not changed. The dense cloud coverage was all that my eye could behold. This time, my thoughts meandered more along an adult line of reasoning. I noted that we had been in this thick haze for over twenty minutes. I began to think about safety. My body could detect that the plane was making turns, banking, changing elevations; but visually, everything looked the same. I thought about the pilots. I was grateful that Federal law mandated they be instrument-rated. If they could only navigate by visual acuity or some internal sense of perspicacity, we would surely have been in danger. Especially on days like this, pilots would have to place one hundred percent dependence upon the accuracy of the instrument’s readings over that which their senses would communicate.
That forever-the-Bible-teacher-thing in me kicked into operation. I thought about seasons in life when we enter into clouds of confusion. Our ability to get a clear line of sight on the horizon can often be blocked by the immediacy of the moment. The sense of balance that we normally derive from a healthy inner ear of our own wise advice can be disrupted by internal sounds of deception. When this occurs, the external voice of our counselors is clouded out. Our keenness, perception, or wisdom can become dulled when the dark haze of circumstances obstructs the senses. If we are not instrument-rated, we might lose our ability to navigate through life.
The Bible is a reliable compass. It transcends the temporal, grants insight beyond the immediate, and directs destiny through ambiguity. God’s Word illuminates our pathway and clarifies our individual steps. Those who know the Word are instrument-rated, having been trained in the use of God’s only tool for safe navigation through life’s cloud-obscured days.