Through a series of coincidences, I ended up giving my eldest daughter flying lessons when she was in junior high. She had developed a thing for wanting to be a pilot. We took her to an air show and bought her a ride in a tiny, 2-seat Cessna, thinking it would scare her out of flying.
The sound you just heard is a backfire.
I finally relented after finding myself next to a flight instructor on a flight home and found out it was doable. Since I was paying, I always rode along.
Pilots try to avoid the word “crash.” One euphemism is to “auger in.” That’s where the plane plays the part of a low-quality drill bit/auger which unsuccessfully tries to “drill” into the ground.
If you ever want an inkling of what that might be like, take a flying lesson and ask to do a stall. You deliberately and gradually reduce speed, keeping the nose up until you have an aerodynamic stall. You lose lift and drop like a rock. It feels like you’re hanging by a thread, and then…someone cuts the thread.
“Excuse me, but could we go back up to about 1200 feet? I left my lunch there!”
It’s something to do at altitude so you have a chance to recover. Just sayin’.
Which reminds me of something else the instructor warned us about; the two most dangerous situations a pilot always encounters every time they go up.
Altitude above you and runway behind you. I love how these guys talk!
Why am I writing about flying? It feels to me something like Christianity. Everybody on this earth is in flight, and someday we’re all going to auger in. While this is especially hazardous to those who have not yet accepted Jesus, it contains some hazards for believers too.
The Bible passage that got her thinking about 2021 is Hebrews 11:1.
Now, faith is the substance of things hope for, the essence of things not seen.
Have faith that God is always with us! When we rely on our faith that God is always right there with us, 2021 isn’t something to get too worked up about. God is always with us, as promised in Joshua 1:9.
Be strong & of good courage; do not be afraid or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
He certainly means that here on earth. Even when things go south, we can be sure that God will sustain us. But let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that everything will always turn around for us.
If our thinking is only temporal, we might be tempted to think that every nosedive will be recovered, every stall and drop will be successfully countered. They won’t! Not understanding that can wreck our faith when things don’t recover!
We’re Christians, but we also live in this world currently governed by Satan.
And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience… Ephesians 2:1-2
Yup. This is his bailiwick. Not every nosedive has a happy ending. When we are in a nosedive in this world, we cannot confidently believe that God will save us from it. We can be confident that God will give us His strength to endure it.
Put simply, we all will auger in. Sometimes just a little, sometimes catastrophically. There are job losses, bankruptcies, loss of loved ones… Calamities befall us all. Jesus warned us as much in Luke 13:3-4.
I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem?
That was one of those “stuff happens” moments where a tower fell and killed 18 people. They augured in, and it had nothing to do with whether they were good people or not.
The faith described in Hebrews 11:1 is a faith for now, yes. But it is even more importantly a faith for eternity! It is a faith that recognizes we will all suffer death but will triumph through the blood of Jesus! It is a faith that allows us to smile as we hurtle toward the ground!
I’ve been very close to death three times. I no longer fear death, but I will admit I fear how much it will hurt. Still, I am reassured that when it is all truly over, I will see Jesus smiling at me. I will feel his indescribable love wash over me. I will have no memory of earth and pain. I will know only the bliss of that promise fulfilled.
Augur in? We all will. Eternal bliss? Only for those who have accepted Jesus payment for our sins, who have given Jesus permission to save us!
If you haven’t yet accepted Jesus, if you want your moment of “merging with the ground” to end eternally well, just call on Him. He’s right there next to you and would love to have you talk to Him.