I just read an outstanding couple of posts (as usual) on DeeKayWarrior’s blog, Warrior Revived, ending with, “I Don’t Wanna Die!” I decided to leave an encouraging comment for him, and somehow what follows is the final product – not at all what I intended to write. I think the Lord wanted me to engage in a bit of true confession under the guise of a parable. I can only figure that it will be meaningful for someone. Maybe it’s for you; take a look:
Decades ago, the Lord was my passenger. He was quite polite and didn’t mind sitting in the discount seats. Over the years, I slowly allowed Him to move up to the better seats (as I tried to clean up the cabin mess ahead of Him) until He was finally in First Class. Funny thing, looking back, I have to confess that my attempts at cleaning up were really more like hiding the mess. But He was no ordinary passenger; He actually cleaned up my messes for me, as I allowed Him closer and closer to the front of the plane.
Then the war started.
I was so grateful when He signed up with me, and offered to become my wingman. What a difference! He fought beside me, valiantly, never retreating, quick to warn me of approaching fire that I didn’t see, and quicker to intercept what I was incapable of dodging. It was miraculous how His plane never fell out of the sky in spite of so many direct hits. And I wondered how He could do so much – it was as if He was in several places all at once.
As we continued to meet after debriefing following each mission, I began to appreciate even more about Him, and I finally asked the CO if it might be permissible for Him to be my co-pilot. I wanted Him closer, so He could take over piloting when I had reached my limit. He was clearly a better pilot than I, but I wanted to hang onto “my baby,” you know?
In this new position, I could observe Him closely, and found myself absolutely enthralled. Over and over, He proved that He was capable of so much more than I had imagined. I began to relax, knowing that He was there. And when the war ended in that theater, I loved going up with Him just to glide on the winds and enjoy the view without stress.
I guess somewhere along the line I stopped paying attention, taking His presence for granted. I grew careless, and many of my old messy habits returned. I actually kind of turned into a hoarder, and let me tell you, it was a challenge hiding that from the CO. But I took over the plane’s maintenance and was always careful to lock the cockpit door when I left, so the crew didn’t notice the change. Only I didn’t notice either, when He moved back into the cabin as all my stuff had finally forced Him out of the cockpit.
Well, to make a long story short, I finally found out that I hadn’t hidden anything from the CO. It figures. I mean – he was the CO, you know? But I have to tell you, I never in a thousand lifetimes would have anticipated His response: Instead of hauling me to the brig or court, He called for Jesus to join us for a meeting. Well, of course you’d think that Jesus would come, being called by the CO and all, but His attitude was anything but what I expected. Would you believe it?! – He defended me!
The CO let me off the hook, on the condition that I put Jesus back in the co-pilot’s seat, and I was only too glad to do that! With Him close to me again, I found myself confessing more and more of my problems to Him. Somehow, He always had the answer, and He was always right! As I did more and more things His way instead of mine, my life was revolutionized.
And yesterday, I made a big decision. I “kicked Him out” of the co-pilot’s seat. (Yeah, I didn’t literally kick Him; the only kicking was my foot on my own tush, as I moved out of the pilot’s seat and asked Him to take over. He really surprised me then, because He said, “No. – Let’s ask the CO to be the pilot. I’m moving over to navigate.” Massively more surprising – the CO agreed! He Agreed! Can you imagine?!?
Well, I thought that meant I was co-pilot, but the CO stopped me with that Look. You know the Look; the Look your Father gives you when He’s wearing His dress blues and requires you to acknowledge His rank before the noncoms and junior airmen. He silently pointed towards the rear, and I walked in that direction.
I thought He was sending me to the gunner’s seat. But when I got there, I found the Holy Spirit had been there for a long time, and I knew I could never replace Him. So I went back to the cabin and found an empty seat. It’s in what would be the economy section on a commercial flight, but that’s OK. There are lots of folks in the better seats, and as I meet them and see their eyes, I know we’ll work together well as a team. I mean, how can we not? Just look at who we’ve got in control!